People better at driving grocery carts than vehicles: OPP

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The head of media relations for the Ontario Provincial Police in West Region, London, has seized on a conundrum.

Sgt. David Rektor wonders why people pushing shopping carts in grocery stores conduct themselves in a patient, courteous manner yet lose their cool and their manners once they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

"Sometimes I wish people would drive their vehicle like they do a grocery cart,” Rektor said Friday in a news release.

“When people operate a grocery cart they are respectful and courteous. You don’t see them tailgating other shoppers with carts or honking at them if they go to slow.

“You seldom see them try to cut off another shopper or pull in front of another cart so close that it causes the other shopper to lose control.

“You’ll never see someone offer a hand gesture to someone because they may have made a mistake while driving their cart. There is no stunt driving and no one popping wheelies with their grocery buggy trying to look cool!

“Very seldom does someone push a cart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Carts don’t have speed-limiters and seldom do you see a shopper speeding down an aisle with their grocery cart because they are aware that they may hit someone and hurt them.

“When the aisles are slippery, they slow down and use extreme caution. They even warn others! You’ll usually see parents use the seatbelt where it’s provided because they are concerned about their child’s safety.

“You don’t need indicator lights, horns, or mirrors on grocery carts because everyone is kind and considerate and realizes that they all share the aisle. You seldom see cart operators on the phone while pushing because they realize it’s too dangerous and clumsy to do so.

“More importantly, if they see another shopper having difficulty on the side of the aisle, they will slowly go around them or — get this — offer to help.

“There’s no need for posted speed limits in the aisles because people use common sense and there is no need for police patrol! You never see a multi-cart pileup that closes aisles for hours on end! I can only imagine how safe our roads would be if we all drove our vehicles like we do our grocery carts."

Rektor added that the formula for reducing death and injury on Ontario roads is simple: Pay attention to the road and not your hand-held device, always drive sober, reduce your speed and refrain from driving aggressively, and always wear a seatbelt.