by Cedric Hughes, Barrister & Solicitor with weekly contributions from Leslie McGuffin, LL.B.

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Closing Velocity Detectors to Stop Rear End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are probably the most common type of collision. Even the most rigorous “statistics-gathering” jurisdictions concede that the actual rate is likely much higher than recorded. This is because many rear-end collisions result in relatively minor injury and damage. The numbers also seem to confound law enforcement. Following another vehicle too closely and driving without due care—the two main causes of rear-enders—support “quasi-criminal” sanction regardless of outcome severity, but the driver of the striking vehicle is rarely ticketed these days.

More Roads Mean More Congestion: Fact or Myth?

One of the suggested fixes for the predicted upcoming economic troubles is infrastructure updating. Advocates say it is not the time for government to be concerned about deficits. Rather it is time to create employment by repairing, upgrading, and building new roads and bridges. (Does this sound like someone has been reading the history books about the Great Depression, FDR and the New Deal?).

Trying To Make Us More Like Ants

Next time you’re sitting in traffic inching along, think of the Mormon cricket, the desert locust, the New World army ant, rice, and sugar and try to figure out which one you are temporarily behaving like. All of these are granular media that, in abundance, ‘flow’ with traffic-like properties. Analysis of these properties by scientists and traffic engineers has increased understanding of automotive traffic flow but also illuminated its fundamental complexity and unpredictability. Unsettling terms like ‘chaos theory,’ ‘non-cooperative network,’ ‘user optimal versus system optimal,’ ‘phantom jam’ come up.

Impaired Driving by Police and the Rule of Law

We live in a country that is based on “the Rule of Law”. Very simply, this means that no one is above the law. No one. Politicians, bureaucrats, police and citizens – all are accountable.

Police officers while on duty have a great deal of latitude when it comes to traffic regulations. They have to. Driving over sidewalks, going through red lights, speeding, U-turns: all these actions may be reasonable and necessary in the course of law enforcement.

In the last year or so, however, newspapers have been reporting what may be an increasing number of incidents involving off- duty and on- duty police officers charged with serious driving offences.

Attacked by Aircraft on the Way to Work

Early afternoon on October 18 th , 2008, an 88-year-old male driver died when his car was “T-boned” crossing a through road south of the Tillsonburg, Ontario airstrip. Another horrible accident that one would suspect was the result of an unfortunate failure of attention on the part of one of the drivers involved.

The older driver was on his way to a brunch with fellow members of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association (CHAA). The Harvard, as the CHAA website ( www.harvards.com ) describes it, “is probably the best known training aircraft of all time…used as an advanced trainer by 137,000 aircrew… in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.”

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