Hands on the wheel – eyes on the road

Distracted driving claims more lives annually in British Columbia than impaired driving according to ICBC statistics

Michele Taylor

Caledonia Courier

It’s been five years since the BC Government banned the use of handheld (personal electronic) devices in the province. Distracted driving claims more lives annually in British Columbia than impaired driving according to ICBC statistics from 2009-2013, that adds up to about one quarter of all car crash fatalities.

Society has become inundated with information, technology and ‘connectivity’ – we are so plugged in to everyone else – but people have lost the connection with the real outside world. You can’t go anywhere without seeing the rampant eyes-down-screen-stare, I’m guilty of the same, at the doctor, in line at the store, waiting in the parking lot. There is no time however, that I think it’s OK to pick up that phone in my car. And today, I’m thankful for my safe choice.

While heading home after a long day I turned the corner to head up the street and here is a young boy, maybe 10-years-old, on his bike stopped in the middle of the street. He’s texting on his phone, maybe he is texting a parent that he would be home soon. Or texting to meet up with his friend. The point is he was stopped, in the middle of the road without even thinking, to answer this device for whatever reason.

We are losing key safety when we become so immersed in our connectivity that we no longer connect with the world we are actually in.

If it (read: I) had been an equally distracted driver turning that corner the young boy on the bike could have been seriously injured or even dead. I’ve witnessed a few cases of distracted driving recently; from the woman in the sports car talking on her phone as she pulled out of the gas station onto the busy street to the elderly gentleman in the pickup truck looking for his destination while perhaps being given directions through the phone held to his ear.

There’s an urgency we feel when that device is ringing, dinging or vibrating; a need to be instantly available to whatever is happening on the other end of the device. That urgency often causes safety and precaution to be ignored.

Take the challenge and put the phone away while you are out in your vehicle, on your bike or even walking around and be a (safe) part of your community. Remind young drivers and cyclists that their devices are a distraction and graduated drivers should be reminded that the use of any hands-free device is prohibited by law. Use safety first before using devices, pull over to answer a call or text if you are expecting an important call or message.

No text or phone call is worth a life.

 

Just Posted

Province not doing enough for forestry sector, say Liberals

Although Minister of Forests says government working to diversify industry, rural economies

Column: how to bring young blood to ranching

A Young Agarians program seeks to partner new ranchers with old

Stolen truck involved in fatal collision on Highway 16

Wednesday’s two-vehicle crash killed one man, 23, and injured two others

Local company Northern Homecraft wins big at Northern B.C. awards

Vanderhoof company won in two categories for homes built in Fort St. James area

Column: the 4-H way of life

Local 4-H member Jacinta Meir on what being a member means to her

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Quesnel fed up with detour, urges Ottawa to speed up road repair

West Fraser Road has been on detour since spring 2018, with no plans to repair washout until 2020

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Most Read