Today was a full fledged snow storm in Edmonton and surrounding area. The roads were icy, the wind and snow created a white out effect, and under the blanket of snow that covered our roads, was sheer ice. I know it was ice under there because not only did I slip and slide a bit in my car, despite the winter tires, but I also fell in the parking lot outside my friends’ house, as did my daughter R.
If I had realized the extent of the weather today, we would’ve just stayed home. But I didn’t, and so I made the trek into the city as I do each and every weekday to drive my older daughter K to school. My home school girl R and I signed up last minute for a field trip, a tour of a Fire Station, and since it was basically in between K’s school and home, we decided to still go.
The fire station was abuzz with activity. There were a lot of accidents to contend with, a lot of people who needed help or rescuing, and a lot of people who really don’t understand the idea that when there are white out conditions and severely icy roads, you really should slow down. The people at the fire station were great. Friendly, engaged, and eager to answer questions and show us all the tools, equipment, and apparatus. A big shout out to the Strathcona County Fire Rescue Team who are also trained as EMT’s or EMS’s as well. How reassuring!
Anyway, despite the slower speeds that the majority of vehicles were adhering to, there were still many people who sped on by, usually in big trucks and fishtailing as they went, with complete disregard for the people around them. I said to Sean tonight, “what’s so frustrating and scary is that they will probably kill someone else not themselves. They have the comfort of a large vehicle and so they feel safe and can plow on through the traffic if need be. I, however, am driving in a smaller vehicle, a car, with precious cargo. You can bet your ass that I’m heeding the traffic warnings and taking my time. Not only do I value the life of myself and my children, but I value the life of others around me.
Considering there were at last count 150 accidents in the Edmonton area (just today), I feel completely justified in slowing down and taking extra time to get to where I’m going. There were many roads closed today, in and out of the city. There were accidents, and I know there was a death on highway 21. On the drive home I saw a vehicle in the median area between the 2 directions of Wye Road in which I travel to get in and out of the city. I heard many more stories from people about the semis in the ditch, collisions, buses stuck, and vehicles littering the roadway.
So here’s what I have to say: You over there, speeding along like it’s a dry day in the desert with no chance of rain, never mind flurries. We actually live in Edmonton and surrounding area, just in case you weren’t aware. And we get this stuff called snow and freezing temperatures and freezing rain and strong winds. This can all combine to create white out conditions and icy roads that are not conducive to safe driving. Now, I realize that you probably are in a hurry. We all have lives and unfortunately in western society we are too often slaves of the clock. But you should respect that in these conditions our standards should be to get there ALIVE, not necessarily on time. You aren’t more important than my children or me. You aren’t more important than my family and friends, or your family and friends. You aren’t more important than a neighbour or a stranger or a visitor to our city. You have every right to get to where you are going ALIVE. Please respect my right for the same.