|Typical consideration of the legal STOP sign.|
The Mennonite Meeting Hall is located about a kilometer north from Wareham, east side of County Road 41.
Every Sunday, the Meeting Hall lets out its Sunday services about 12:00 to 12:15.
And roughly 40 to 50 individual wagons head south into Wareham.
These are primarily of two types:
- Open topped small buggies pulled by a single horse, typically with two people.
- Enclosed large wagons pulled by a two horse team, typically with large family groups.
Every Sunday, the vast majority of these operators, stacked tight in a line, completely refuse to stop at the stop sign on the corner of Centre Line.
Usually at high speed (not even slowing to check for oncoming traffic).
Often the entire line of wagons in an unbroken chain.
Today I watched someone in a small single horse unit approach the stop sign.
Without visibly slowing down.
They were already past the stop sign when they finally checked to see if there was anything coming from the West (down Centre Line).
There was a pickup truck approaching the intersection from the West. Fortunately, traveling below the posted speed. It would have been roughly even with my driveway when the wagon operator checked that direction. (So about 100 feet)
They did manage to stop the horse. Not before loosing control of the animal, resulting in the wagon being positioned sideways across the intersection, the horse rearing to rear feet.
They eventually had to have the passenger jump out to grab the horse, completing a 270 degree circle inside the the intersection. They never did get control of the animal, the passenger having to jump back on to the wagon as it rocketed out of the intersection to the east.
RED MEANS STOP
If you intend to travel on the public roads in Ontario, you are legally required to OBEY the traffic laws controlling the operation of 'a vehicle' on those roads.
Fundamental to this is the following of all posted signs. The red octagon with the large * order * to STOP is key. It is not a recommendation. It is not 'do at your whim'. It is not 'based on some religion'. It is a rigid COMMAND.
Obey the laws or get off the public roads.
1) A horse drawn wagon is defined legally as 'a vehicle' under the Ontario Traffic / Highway Safety Act. It is subject to all the same legal restrictions as any other 'vehicle'.
2) If I personally do not follow the command to stop, even if I am on a bicycle, I will be subjected to a fine and subjected to a penalty against of driver's licence.
3) If a motor vehicle is approaching this intersection from the East, towards Wareham intersection, and at the legal speed limit, it will have no more that FOUR SECONDS to observe if the intersection is clear. This is the same amount of time someone *legally* stopped will be able to determine if there is vehicle is approaching. (Note that east / west traffic has legal right of way).
|View west to the stop sign / 4 seconds out at 80 kph.|
|View from the legal stop line towards the east - reverse of view above.|
- I normally part at least one small trailer along the edge of Centre Line, in front of my house / shop.
- There is often extra visitor vehicles parked also along the extended edge of Centre Line (frequent weekend courses here).
|One second from the intersection (at 80 kph). You can see my truck parked, behind it my small travel trailer. Note also the pickup truck *legally* stopped for the sign.|
Mennonites don't carry any insurance.
Wagons do not require licence plates, so there is no way to identify individual vehicles breaking the law.
Mennonites purposefully all dress alike. Most are wearing obscuring sun glasses. There is thus almost no way to identify individuals.
This potential accident is made more likely by an increasing number of young men driving hopped up 4 wheel drive, pickup, 'dirt trucks'.
Especially on the weekends.
Typically speeding, and otherwise ALSO not paying full consideration to the traffic laws.
Observed repeatedly attempting to make 'slew turns' and 'fishtailing' - intentionally.
Someone will eventually be killed at the intersection. Guess who is most likely going to have to clean up the mess?