Monday, 2 June 2014

Surrey RCMP is alienating tourists

I'd like to report a crime.
A crime against this tourist –who supported the BC economy.

My question for Surrey RCMP is, "When is it up to parents to monitor their children and ensure they aren't playing on city streets?" It was 30 km/hour on a stretch where locals chronically didn't follow the speed limit.
I had to pay a $196 fine. It wasn't a pretty cry, either. Stress'll do that to you. It was the last straw on the worst trip ever. I was so embarrassed. A girlie cry. I'm vigilant with speed limits, despite tailgators. I let people pass.

Then, I locked my keys in the trunk of the rental car, fetching my Ontario driver's licence. It was humiliating. Yes, girlie cry.
Having gotten lost 4 times that day, since GPS isn't accurate in Vancouver, either, I was pretty frazzled. A warning, pointing out the speed limit, would have helped. When the RCMP are used to dealing with criminals, that's how I was treated. People like me, we learn from our mistakes, when given a chance.

We were on our way to the wedding rehearsal, and hubby was ill, his cancer is still present, and he had been ill for the week we were there. I was having anxiety issues with the stress of the drive. Many of your rural drivers are awful, as many are in my neck of the woods. Great big pick-up trucks tailgating in my rear view, and I was trying to keep with the traffic flow.

As a retired teacher, I'm pretty wary of kids at play. On this Sunday afternoon of the long weekend, and wedding rehearsal, there were no kids playing in the park, although when I saw you I noted I was doing 50. This is the speed in such parts my part of the world.

A warning that it was not in yours would have been wonderful. The cars behind us similarly were tailgating and pretty much trying to make me go faster. I am shocked that a visitor to your fair city, who has dumped more than $5000 into your economy, wasn't simply given a warning.
My granddaughter knew I was upset.
It was an ugly cry.
She wrote me a sweet note!

Those locals who choose to speed should be fined.

This was the worst trip I'd ever had, hubby's 2nd worst!
GPS didn't work, the maps were awful, too.
We got stuck in construction and traffic on the way to the airport. Thankfully, my son navigated, as hubby and I were frazzled.

UPDATE #1: I was wondering why I drew so many trolls to the page. You know trolls, you can't really ID them, most post anonymous comments and are not interested in dialogue, some create fake IDs in order to attack from their high-minded positions. The newspaper posted my blog post URL.

UPDATE #2: Yep, dear readers, I have deleted the messages from the trolls, smart-asses and lurkers. I don't need you to tell me that I'm a troll, or that I shouldn't have a driver's licence. I don't need these vitriolic, abusive, negative comments you've been making. I paid the fine.

I hope the RCMP are successful in slowing traffic, but I seriously doubt it! I think someone should trim the trees around this section. It would make it easier to see the playground.
Those who understand my point, thank you.

Those who tell me not to go back to Surrey, get a grip! Chances are, I won't. I just have to remember that there are good people in Surrey, my son's in-laws, not just those who have a mighty sense of self-righteousness, never broken a law or driven above the speed limit.

UPDATE #3: Some anonymous person was right, the Surrey newspaper was mocking me. They didn't get the message at all. New on the street. Distracted by the radar trap ahead. The paper writes an article that they are short-staffed Surrey RCMP, but put two men on duty all Sunday afternoon of the long weekend.

Certainly, we do more in Ontario to attract tourists. Not in Surrey. I was obviously new to the area. I was driving a rental car.
What a snarky tweet for a journalist. Gone are the days of reporting the news!
I posted to this effect, and suggested that one comment, mocking me as well, violates their Comments protocol. My comment has yet to be posted.

No. I didn't see the signage. I did see the RCMP with the radar gun, though, perhaps that was what distracted me. I could see cars being pulled over in the distance. I thought something was seriously wrong. A warning would have sufficed for this law-abiding citizen. I was more concerned with the woman ahead of me, with her rear of her car sticking out in the road.

This is what our OPP do in Ontario. They educate, and try to reform citizens.
Certainly, OPP has had quite the time, and success, slowing racing drivers. We have a street racing law for those going 30km over the limit.

Speeding / Street Racing / Aggressive Driving

The number of people killed in Ontario in speed-related collisions dropped from 113 in 2009 to 87 in 2010 – a reduction of 23 per cent.

Street racers and other drivers who put other road users at risk by driving aggressively now face roadside vehicle impoundment and licence suspensions, and upon conviction face a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to six months, and prolonged licence suspensions.

The RCMP are a different story, methinks. I can't blame them, not with mad murderers out there. My message to them, most of us do not break the law. Most of us are good people.

Surrey newspapers do not care about their tourism industry or those who make a living off people, like myself, who don't mind dipping into a line-of-credit to travel, entertain kids and grandkids.

UPDATE #4: I'm being mocked, again, by arrogant tweeps. I am shocked that they didn't take an opportunity for education, rather than punishment. I'm all for consequences, but this was harsh.
Surrey has many problems with violence, a rock through a window, crime, multiple car crashes, theft, assaults, gangs, home invasions, stabbings. You can read them, it *is* shocking. I'm all for traffic calming measure, but target the chronic offenders. Anonymous Tweeps tell me I'm 'livid'. No. Embarrassed, shocked, distraught that I didn't see the sign, shamed that I cried. Don't you dare tell me how I feel. You obviously didn't read my post. Give anyone a platform, and they go nuts.

Not so much a great place to vacation. 

Beautiful spot, but scary times

Screen captures of the site

Picture RCMP car, officer in driveway
You think I was watching signage?
I was concerned with them & parked cars.

In the driveway on the right,
a woman was pulled over, with another officer.

Very distracti

this is what they saw of me

UPDATE #5: Good news

Web traffic up, 382 views of this post; snarky, anonymous and/or ignorant comments deleted. And no, I don't delete those who simply disagree with me. I deleted mocking, puerile, sarcastic remarks from sanctimonious, perfect hypocrites, registered ID or not.

June 16

Still the pejorative comments are coming. When you disparage a good woman, like my friend Kay, you can believe I won't publish it. This is my blog. Disagree agreeably, or suck it up, buttercup. The original Surrey article shows a firefighter being ticketed in a file photo. Interesting.

None get my point: this is an opportunity for education. It's an opportunity for good PR for the sexism said to be in the RCMP forces, RCMP who go bad, PTSD in the forces, and investigations into RCMP wrongdoing.

Who is policing the (RCMP) police?

I saw this group on a news program. Interesting work, which supports my premise that it is education that wins over drivers, as well as realistic speed limits.

Here is a snippet:
Setting speed limits according to the standards of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (the 85th percentile method) will…
* focus enforcement on dangerous drivers, not revenue collection
* increase speed limit compliance
* provide greater consistency of speed limits
* reduce speed variance resulting in reduced crashes
The 85th percentile is the speed to which 85 percent of drivers travel below (under average, free-flow conditions).


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Sorry, $196 does seem a bit much.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, Jenn, how awful.
Let me apologize for the province of my birth.
I'm sure there's enough crime in Surrey, BC, without the RCMP bothering to ticket tourists, and I'm so sorry it made you cry.
I hope your worst trip ever was made slightly better by breakfast with two Albertans at the airport.
Love and hugs,

William Kendall said...

That is rotten... and perhaps not worth contesting.

I might suggest if Surrey has a newspaper, an angrily written letter to the editor.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thing is, if I knew better I would have done better. The other three times I drove along this street I drove slowly, at the speed limit. Unfortunately, the locals tailed me still, and screamed past me at a horrible speed.
Actually, the other two times I drove, we hired a taxi. We will never darken your Surrey streets again.

Jenn Jilks said...

Another question, what is the difference between hitting a child with a car at 30km/hr vs. 50? Are we better able to stop if we aren't paying attention at all? I was watching roads, not signage.

Jenn Jilks said...

No, people, and I use the term lightly, I am not going to tolerate rudeness and disparaging comments. You have been great to raise my SEO, but I'm tired of the rude, negative, disparaging, and ignorant comments. Deal with it. My opinion of Surrey residents stands, some of you drive too fast, give all your residents a bad rep and your RCMP don't respect your tourists. When I know better I do better. I drove this road twice. Rode it four times. I will likely never be back again.

C.J. Smith said...

Stand your ground, girl. You make a very VALID point.

Cindy J. Smith
Founder, Education for the Driving Masses

TeenWriter said...

Hi there,

First off, please don't take my comment as a personal attack, take it as constructive criticism that you and others can learn from.

Although I can attest that many people do speed here in Surrey, it's pointless to use other people's bad driving habits as an excuse. If you had happened to hit someone, they aren't going to care that you were stressed or that you were being tailgated. Also, the locals who choose to speed are fined. Believe me, you aren't the only person to ever receive a speeding ticket in Surrey; you in fact said in your article that you could see other cars getting pulled over.

Playground speed limits in Ontario may be higher than the ones in BC, but that shouldn't matter. If you are going to drive in another province, it's better to do a couple minutes of research and know for a fact what the speed limits are instead of assuming that they're the same and then getting pulled over.

Regardless of the fact that you spent thousands of dollars in your travels to Surrey, you can't use that as an excuse either. If I were speeding through a playground in Ontario where your grandchildren were playing and the police pulled me over, I am sure that they would give me a ticket regardless of the fact that I was just visiting... and why shouldn't they?

I'm like you - I try not to speed and am a law-abiding citizen. However, how are police officers supposed to know that? It doesn't matter what kind of people you and I are, what matters is that when rules are broken, there has to be consequences. Surrey RCMP were just doing their job - trying to keep children safe by enforcing the law.

It is a fact that pedestrians hit by a car going 30km/hour have a 10% chance of dying. Pedestrians hit by a car going 50km/hour have a 50% chance of dying. That's why it's not enough to just warn someone who was speeding in a playground zone; tickets must be given out so that people learn to follow the speed limits, because if not, the consequences are devastating, no matter where you live.

The fact of the matter is that speed kills, and $196 isn't a high price to pay compared to the life of someone hit by a car at 50km/hour.

Jenn Jilks said...

What a thoughtful comment. Well put.

The point is, tourists ought to be welcomed and educated. That said, I am not excusing my behaviour. I paid the fine. I suggest that the time they took to stop me might have been better spent. A few words might have been better.

a) I wasn't supposed to be the driver. (Long story.) I missed the signage. Simple mistake. Posted speed limits I can follow, when I spot them. There are issues in that the signage didn't click in my brain. There were cars stopped ahead. I focused on that.
b) I am not excusing speeding, I am saying that a wise police force uses an opportunity to educate.
c) If a child is in front of you, I don't think you have a hope in hell of missing him/her. That is good information, that 10% of kids are killed at 30km/hr. However, distracted drivers happen at all speeds. There is no excuse. I was distracted by the cops, not watching my speed at that point. The cops were a visible distraction. As a driver for 35 years, your brain kicks into gear, and automatically kicks into awareness mode. It just seemed so incongruous to me.
d) No, police cannot differentiate between law-abiding and not. However, the fact that I was a tourist, in a rental car, with an Ontario driver's licence, should have been a clue that this was my first time on this road. Or they could have asked.
I asked him the speed limit. He replied, 30 km. Took my licence, determined I wasn't a mass murderer, and left. He returned with the licence and a ticket. Period. I've never met such a curt officer. I was distraught, and embarrassed that I was crying. I was afraid he thought I was using tears to get out of a ticket. I felt dumb.

Jenn Jilks said...

e) In addition, no matter if I knew that the speed limit at playgrounds was 30 km/hr, I wouldn't have known it was a playground, as I said in my post, since there is much foliage hiding it. There was one sign, in the video, indicated it was 30. There was nothing else.
Hubby, who lived 10 years in Vancouver, was trying to read the map!

Not only this, but it seems as if roadside manner is lacking on the part of many.
My local OPP don't hit us with a sledge hammer if it takes a wee smuck to the psyche, which I gave myself!
Finally, it is 3 penalty points. It was a mistake, not a deliberate effort to break the law. I've paid for it, but there is a better way.