I wrote this little rant about drinking and driving in the summer. However, it was never published, just written for myself, but I thought you'd enjoy reading it.
In moving to La Crete, I have been introduced to “cruising,” apparently a pastime enjoyed largely by teens and young adults in Northern Alberta. To me, driving around in circles and up and down the same road time and time again, wasting gas and polluting the environment seems a little unorthodox, but, to each their own.
At first, I wasn’t phased by the constant back and forth driving of the same cars up and down main street in La Crete, or the crowds of trucks and Sunfires in the Co-op parking lot each evening throughout the weekends. Not until I showed up to work with a parking lot full of glass, of course.
Perhaps I was just naive in thinking these people racing up and down main street, or parked in a clutter in the middle of a parking lot, were just having innocent fun. Cruising seems fine enough, and I’m not opposed to a drink or two at a local gathering, but when it comes to drinking and driving ... that I have a problem with.
Much of the coffee shop gossip in La Crete surrounds the hot topic of RCMP, more specifically, the lack of RCMP coverage in La Crete. It never fails: every weekend you can hear screeching tires racing up and down the road and every Monday morning there is broken glass all over parking lots and streets.
Recently, the RCMP have been present in La Crete due to phone call complaints about reckless driving in the area. And, people have been punished for their actions. Still, the drinking and driving continues, and the lack of RCMP supervision on La Crete roads during weekends is still a major issue.
According to the RCMP, there should be one RCMP officer on patrol in La Crete. This is hardly enough to cover the entire town of La Crete each night. Shortly, La Crete should be getting another RCMP officer to help patrol the area, however, the name of the officer and date of arrival is still unknown to me.
When I first arrived in La Crete, I thought it was strange that the small town had double lanes through the middle of town. Now I see that this was a huge mistake. Putting double lanes in there is just asking for young people to race back and forth. It’s no secret that it happens, so why isn’t it being stopped?
Racers: I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but there is a time and place for drinking and for driving, but they should never be done together. If you want to race, sign up with Penner Speedway, just outside of La Crete. If you want to drink, go to Fort Vermilion or High Level to a pub or lounge, or on a friend’s back porch.
In a town that is booming with babies and children, what would make someone want to get drunk and speed up and down a road all night long? Do they understand they are not only putting themselves at danger, but innocent bystanders as well?
And if the loud, screeching tires; smashed bottles puncturing tires and shoes; putting themselves and others at danger; wasting money, gasoline and clean air didn’t already put me over, it was the behaviour of these young adults when in “racing mode.”
A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I took a walk in the evening. Evening walks used to be my favourite thing to do. Just as the sun sets and the skies turn into wonder water colours of pinks, purples and oranges. It’s the perfect time to walk in the summer, because the weather is not too hot and humid (in Ontario, at least! No need to worry about humidity here).
However, on my first and probably last evening walk in La Crete, I was disturbed by an ignorant and rude racer who slowed down, rolled down his window, and yelled absurd comments to me and three ladies I was walking with.
Like I said before, I couldn’t wrap my head around the sport of “cruising” for leisure, unless of course it was part of a date, but when “cruising” becomes racing, and racing becomes drinking, and drinking becomes reckless and unsafe driving, this becomes a problem for the community. For everyone who is driving through La Crete on a weekend, for everyone who has children, and for everyone whose son or daughter is involved in the act.