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It's not a race

All is fun and games until somebody loses a bumper, or mirror, or God forbid their life.

Melissa Jenkins

It seems that some people in the St. Anthony area like to play the speed game behind the wheel.

It's a rhetorical game, so don't worry about rules.

In fact, that is basically what it is, ignoring the rules of the road, speeding past other vehicles and potentially putting other people at risk all because of stupid behaviour for a little thrill.

Every time I hit Route 430, I can guarantee I will be met with someone in a hurry to pull around me. There are broken lines to go around traffic, but they sometimes pass on a solid line or are driving substantially over the speed limit.

I basically drive the speed limit. Except in poor visibility or bad road conditions, when I drive a little slower. That's how I've always driven.

I was taught that there's a reason there are speed limits and why they should be followed.

Driving too slow? Someone could cause an accident. Driving too fast? Again, could cause an accident. Especially on the Great Northern Peninsula, which consists of the moose capital of the world (Roddickton, for those that don't know), and a large population of caribou, who are not very bright when it comes to traffic.

As I was saying, driving along Route 430, there are constantly people disregarding speed limits. But after a situation I experienced last week, I've learned it's not just locals, and it's not just on the highway.

I had turned onto East Street before you get to College of the Northern Atlantic in St. Anthony with plenty of time before the next vehicle could catch up. After all, it's a 30 kilometre an hour school zone after a snowfall.

The vehicle coming up behind me was a large transport truck, likely just coming from the cold storage. I was flabbergasted by how quickly he was coming down the hill. Although there was never any danger, there was plenty of space and he managed to slow down before getting to the college, it made me start paying attention.

I live on East Street. My front yard faces the road. I can look out my kitchen and bedroom windows and see the traffic going up and down the street. So that evening, that's what I did.

Over a couple of hours, more than a handful of transport trucks flew down the road from the plant. Based solely on look, it appeared most of them were going well over the 40-kilometre speed limit, approaching a sharp S-turn.

Many of these drivers are likely not from the area, so ignorance could be seen as an excuse for some. But, there's posted signage, not to mention, they had to drive down that road to begin with.

The town council has spoken about speed limits many times in the meetings I've attended. And now, I am beginning to see why speed can be such a factor.

If a car or SUV is driving quickly, they may have an easier time of stopping or slowing down than a transport truck filled with goods. And the last thing we should be concerned about in St. Anthony, the small town with very little vehicular traffic, is a transport truck jackknifing down East Street.

So be safe, drive carefully, and remember, you're not the only one whose life is in your hands on the road. Driving is a privilege not a right.

Melissa Jenkins is the editor of the Northern Pen. She can be reached at

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