Driving a motor vehicle can be daunting for some - I've seen (okay, seen commercial advertising for) Canada's Worst Driver. I've always realized that, but I never knew following basic rules - the same rules that one is required to know in order to obtain that coveted driver's license - was such a difficult task.
Saint John has the worst drivers, hands down, I've ever witnessed. I've almost been killed, many times over, using a crosswalk. When a driver spies someone entering such clearly marked entities or even sees a pedestrian on a sidewalk, they are visibly confused. I've seen a little girl waiting at a crosswalk with nobody stopping to let her cross. On my street alone there is a blind, elderly neighbour that can only get across by having her friend/guide hurry her when there is a lull in the traffic. The pedestrian situation in this city is abysmal and because of that, a future entry will address this, complete with advise for those in cars and on foot.
When speaking to Saint Johners about this, I usually get a chuckle and a comment something akin to, "Yeah, the drivers here are definitely a different breed." No kidding, a deadly and ignorant monster putting lives in danger unnecessarily. A breed that needs to be extinct.
On Hilyard Street there are three intersections for left turns after entering from Chesley. These lanes are clearly marked with a left arrow, but drivers motor through that turning lane each and every day. At St. Patrick and Union heading north drivers frequently make left hand turns despite clear signage. Stop signs and red lights seem to be only suggestions.
There may be an obvious answer as to why these blatant infractions continue: I have never seen anyone pulled over by a member of the police department. I have never witnessed a police presence watching for violations anywhere in the city. I have never seen a speed trap. Does the city take in any money from traffic violations?
I have come across a new phenomenon, one I have never witnessed anywhere or have heard of as a problem anywhere: making traffic lights viewable from the windshield of the lead car at a stop light. There are numerous locations in Saint John where you cannot see the traffic signals if you stop at the designated spot on a red light. I just cannot fathom why this would be a problem.
With the helter skelter street layout, the poor condition of the roads with constant construction, the city's apparent inability to clear snow in winter, and many other factors, I understand that this is not an easy city in which to drive, but at least make an effort to recognize problems and attempt to solve them. Put in a phone call to the police and/or another city official when something inexcusable occurs.