As the Arbourist mentioned, on our drive home from BC we witnessed some fairly serious consequences of driving like an asshat. Besides the debris from a multiple-fatality accident, there was the couple standing next to an embankment at a sharp curve, looking deeply chagrined, surrounded by police vehicles and a solitary tow truck. The only sign of the couple’s vehicle was the tow truck’s winch line disappearing over the edge.
And then there was the guy who totally made our day. On the homestretch, the long, straight, level, well-maintained, multi-lane divided Queen Elizabeth II highway in Alberta, people like to go really, really fast. And cops love to camp out and catch them.
It was a busy evening in traffic, with a lot of slower vehicles like campers and camper-trailers out. There was this guy who was in a really big hurry, too much to follow the unwritten rules of the highway, like everybody taking turns passing the slow vehicles. He wanted to pass the people who were passing, goddamit, because they weren’t passing fast enough, so he was ducking and weaving between lanes like a boxer, trying to get ahead. Just as he was pulling in front of us, we went around a gentle curve, and there was an abandoned, broken-down car in the median. Mr. Speedy assumed it was a speed trap, and slammed on the brakes. It was a bit of a scary moment for us, because naturally he had cut in front of us pretty close and there wasn’t that nice buffer that you like to keep between cars, and he’d hit the binders hard – if you’re going 140 and think you’re going to get down to 110 in time to trick the radar into thinking you were going the speed limit the whole time, you have to. A fraction of a second before we would have had to initiate emergency maneuvers to avoid him, he realized it was just a stalled car, and peeled out again.
We carried on at our measured and legal pace. A couple minutes later, as we came out from under an underpass, we saw the telltale red and blue flashing lights ahead of us. Somebody had gotten pulled over. When we passed, it sure looked like Mr. Speedy.