Traffic report: Quebec taxi drivers to protest UberX

The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Montreal taxi drivers are spearheading province-wide demonstrations to demand government protection against ride-booking services such as UberX. The three groups organizing the protests made a promise to continue to provide taxi services and not cause traffic disruptions.

This is the response of the taxi industry in Quebec after premier Philippe Couillard said he is open to regulating UberX and related forms of transportation. UberX has offered to pay Quebec 10 cents per ride, which is a rather juicy offer given it is making good money across Canada.

On Tuesday a parade of 50 taxis drove toward the premier’s office in downtown Montreal to put pressure on the government to do something. UberX got creative and offered first time riders free trips that day and allowed its drivers to keep the full value of the fares.

UberX allows drivers to operate without significant overhead costs. Its drivers are not required to pay for permits to operate in cities and do not have to obtain special insurance coverage, both of which are required by taxi drivers.

Ride-booking service or taxi? This is the question.

Alberta getting tough on speeding

You may want to slow down a bit when reading this one.

Edmonton chief of police, Rob Knecht, hopes the new provincial government will hear his call for legislation to seize vehicles from drivers caught driving at more than 50 kilometres over the speed limit. Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec already have such laws in place.

Knecht’s concerns stem from recent speeding records in the province. In the past two years, some Albertan drivers have been caught driving at more than 100 kilometres over the speed limit. That is indeed alarming. He stresses, “We're talking about people that are just clearly ... abusing their privilege of having a driver’s licence and putting other people in danger.”

See: Speeding

The good news is most people do not speed at such high rates and any new legislation will target the small fraction of super speedsters on the roads.

Men more likely to speed

Edmonton is really digging into speeding habits.
Edmonton police say men account for 90 per cent of Alberta drivers caught speeding. According to Peter Hurd, a psychology professor from the University of Alberta, driving faster than everyone else can be a way for drivers to rebel and show off — or, in psychology parlance, to “exert perceived dominance.” He adds when men engage in dangerous activities, it is either to attract women or to show off to other males. Speeding may not be seen as a way to attract the opposite sex, but men may do it to impress other men.

There is also a small correlation between people who speed and people who drink. A dangerous combination indeed.

See: Alcohol and liability: know the law

There is apparently also proof speeding may be genetic. Yes, you read correctly. Prenatal testosterone exposure or frontal lobe development may cause speeding-type behaviour in adults.

Next time you get caught speeding, you may tell the officer you have inherited the habit. We make no promises it will fly well.

Caitlyn Jenner may face vehicular manslaughter charge

In Hollywood news, Caitlyn Jenner, who caused a chain-reaction crash in February, may face a vehicular manslaughter charge. The multi-car accident resulted in one fatality. A woman died when her car was struck head-on by a Hummer.

It looks like the transgender celebrity cannot catch a break.

If she does not have a prior record, it is likely she will get a lesser charge such as “driving too fast for the conditions” but for now a vehicular manslaughter charge is hanging over her head.

Canada does not have an equivalent vehicular manslaughter charge but has a number of related driving charges such as careless driving causing death, or dangerous driving causing death. The maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death is life imprisonment.

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