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

Racism and hate still have no place in Fort St. James

Council highlights the communities ongoing efforts to combat hate

Fort St. James tourist attraction still going strong

“World Class Chicken Racing” remains popular

Boost to campsite locations for 2018 season

Whether you call British Columbia your home or you are entertaining out-of-province… Continue reading

Agricultural economist to study wages for farm workers

According to an information bulletin released by the Ministry of Labour, the… Continue reading

New scholarships available for grad students in B.C.

Students across British Columbia who are currently enrolled in graduate-level degree programs… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read