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

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

Zero-interest student loans a huge relief: CMTN student union

Parliamentary secretary hears from Terrace students, alumni and staff

Tl’azt’en man emerges strong from leukemia struggle

“You have to find that inner you and fight back,” Darren says

WANTED: Five sought by RCMP

Police asking for public’s assistance finding five people on outstanding warrants.

NDP to start candidate search

Follows decision by Nathan Cullen to retire from politics

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

‘Considerably large’ tractor tire fell and killed 3-year-old girl on B.C. farm

Delta’s deputy fire chief said crews tried to helicopter girl out after a tractor tire leaning against a barn fell onto her

Most Read