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Stop Spray Painting Over My Neighbourhood’s School Zone Traffic Cam

Jul 19, 2022

I read the news of Edward Lake’s passing and my heart went numb.

While I was celebrating a beautiful Father’s Day with my family, Edward Lake was in an altercation with the police. And they ended up tasing and taking him to the hospital.

The next day Mr. Lake took his own life.

He is survived by his wife, Jenifer Neville-Lake, and my heart goes out to her.

For those who cannot recall, Edward Lake and his family were the victims of a heinous crime. Three of their children and Edward’s father-in-law were killed by Marco Muzzo in a brutal and senseless crash.

Marco Muzzo’s blood alcohol level was found to be three times the legal limit — it was 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

The arresting officer said that Marco smelled of alcohol and had apparently pissed himself in the process of killing Mr. Lake’s children.

Marco Muzzo was recently granted parole, having not even served two years for every child he killed. This would have been Edward Lake’s first Father’s Day while the person responsible for the deaths of his children was nearly freed of all restrictions.

The story really hit home for me.


Ask Joseph Wilson and he'll tell you: stealing from a three-year-old is bulls—t.


Why?

The Muzzo family owns Marel Drywalling.

It is a huge firm and I used to work with their guys on job sites in my time in construction.

I had never met Marco but I recognized the name immediately.

Instead of trying to recall any close brushes with him, I just had two questions:

“Why?" and "What could have possibly been worth the risk you were taking?”

I don’t speed, I stop at stop signs and I would never drink and drive. Despite all these things I make it on time anyway, nearly everywhere I go.

To me the idea of losing children in automobile accidents is such a senseless and brutal tragedy that I wouldn’t risk it for anything. Nothing. I could not even imagine a reward valuable enough to risk that for.

"In my experience, you don’t look both ways when you cross a Toronto street. You look all ways."

Freak accidents happen, sure, but in many cases there is negligence at play. 

I make sure that this impression is clear to my daughter.

I tell her all the time and she knows it by heart: “For most Canadians, driving will be the most dangerous thing you do all day.”

I also make sure she knows that cars are just as dangerous when you are not in them.

She knows that in Toronto as many people are accidentally killed by cars as they are intentionally killed by guns each year, often more. Forgetting these grim statistics could, in my opinion, lead to a too relaxed view of road safety. 

In my experience, you don’t look both ways when you cross a Toronto street. You look all ways.

Sadly there are those that do not share my view.

Dodging Cams

Recently on my way home, I noticed that someone had spray painted over the traffic camera in front of my daughter’s school — again.

Who would do that?

Could you imagine the mentality of someone who goes to those lengths so they can speed through a school zone without getting caught?

I’d imagine their mentality would be something to the effect of: “I am not wrong for speeding through a school zone, the police are wrong for trying to stop me.” I mean, that's my guess anyway.

Well, you know what? Good luck buddy.

I’m going to check that thing every day and clean it off. 

"What could you possibly think is worth the risk you are taking?"

At my count, this was the third time it had been painted over. 

The traffic camera was set up under an initiative that had the hope of saving children the agony from great bodily injury. Or worse, death.

The statistics they are returning about who, how much and when people speed through these places has been very telling and in many cases very damning

On that very road, I know of two children who have been hit in the last year. That’s two that I know of. Part of me can’t help but imagine that the number is probably far greater.

So again, I have to ask anyone who passes other cars on solid lines, who goes 80 kph in residential neighbourhoods, or who drives intoxicated: What could you possibly think is worth the risk you are taking? And I beg you: Just don’t do it.

Just don’t do it.


Here's how one dad is preparing his kids to play in all weather, come what may.


A Glimmer of Hope

Although what I have just shared is grim, there is, I believe, a light at the end of the tunnel.

The rate at which people die in car accidents has fallen dramatically.

It seems new innovations in technology like anti-locking brakes and collision-avoidance systems have saved countless lives.

If this trend continues, maybe the number of car-related deaths and injuries could get to zero.

As far as I’m concerned, zero is the only acceptable number.

It’s not impossible. I believe it can be done, it should be done and it must be done. It won’t be easy, but isn’t sparing needless deaths worth aiming for?

I deserve better. My kid deserves better. And I think we all deserve better when navigating roads and sidewalks.

And Edward Lake? Well, he and his children absolutely deserved better.

Article Author Quentin Janes
Quentin Janes

Quentin Janes is a writer whose influences include Raymond Kurtzweil, Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, Niall Ferguson, Jeremy Rifkin and Martin Luther King Jr — among countless others. He is a putterer, a tinkerer and a fixer of broken things. From bad grades to bad dogs to toilets, kids or drywall, he says he can fix it all.

 

 

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