Monday, June 23, 2014

Community Column by Don Butt (June 2014)

Town of Mono, ON (Don Butt) This month we want to talk about purchasing a  vehicle, new or used. I am not going to advise you on make, model, or style, but only on things to consider for safety and peace of mind. The first thing to consider is of course, good safety belts and as many airbags as are available. Front ones are a no brainer, and others can’t hurt. The only thing to consider is that if you set one off unintentionally, they are very expensive to replace.

In my opinion the next thing to consider are ABS brakes. My friend Doug Annette who runs the excellent skid control school at Oakville, recommends these unreservedly and from personal experience, I concur. They have saved my neck more than once. They may be better set up on some makes than others but check them out before you buy. If you are buying ½ ton trucks or larger for commercial use, you should consider where you will be driving and on what road conditions. Construction vehicles that may drive partly on the shoulder and partly on pavement may present a problem. Vehicles that have steel bars inside the doors is also a good feature. Proper running boards on vans and other high vehicles are a help, but if these are not at the proper height, you can bang your head easily. Go ahead, pick one out but always check condition of tires and brakes on used vehicles.

Something I have always meant to mention is trash along our roads. This is usually not a safety matter but it is illegal (and it looks terrible). It can be a safety hazard if junk lands on the road itself. I have seen blocks of wood, cans, car mufflers, pieces of metal etc. on the road and these are a safety hazard (blown tires, skidding, or worse). Please make sure there are no loose parts on vehicles or trailers that can fall and cause an accident. Think about it!

Note: Referring to purchasing vehicles, you can ask a dealer for the "history" of the vehicle or for a new one, check the consumer reports. These are all available.

Safety Tip – Keep a 3 second following distance. (this tip provided by Doug Annette and the Skid Control School at Oakville, Ont.

Phone Nos. – (a list of valuable numbers to have)
For all emergencies - 911
To report non emergency incidents or bad drivers 1-800-310-1122
Or by cell phone only *677

Road Watch
Our forms for reporting dangerous and aggressive drivers are now attached to our website.If you prefer a paper form or do not have a computer, our forms are available at Mono Plaza and OPP at Primrose. Please use them, the life you may save could be your own or a loved one. Or use the cell number to call direct - *677.

Don Butt is currently the Public Relations and Media Contact for the Mono Community Policing Committee. If you would like more information on anything covered in Don’s Column or would like to see a topic of public interest or safety covered; post a comment below.