The first summer long weekend is in the books. It offers a chance to remind motorists of a few things to ensure we have a safe summer on our roadways.
Thankfully, there were no major accidents on the Coast last weekend, but looking around at the driving patterns of some leads me to believe that next time we won’t be so lucky.
Lately the Sunshine Coast RCMP weekly police report has revealed a lot of drivers behaving badly with several incidents including lots of impaired driving suspensions and speeding violations.
One such incident was on June 23 when a speeder was caught travelling down the Highway 101 by-pass near Langdale ferry terminal, clocked going more than double the posted speed limit. RCMP issued the driver a violation ticket for excessive speed and the vehicle was impounded.
Previously, on June 22, a driver got her gas and brake pedals mixed up, causing an accident that could have been a lot worse. The driver hit the gas while her car was in reverse; the vehicle struck a passing cyclist and pinned the cyclist against a wall. Luck was on the side of the cyclist, as only minor injuries were reported. The driver was issued a violation ticket for backing up unsafely.
In recent days we’ve also witnessed several other speeding drivers passing on the highway when they are not allowed to, driving too close to other drivers and just driving unsafely in general.
Now that summer is here, the amount of traffic on our roadways has increased. Children are out of school and more parents are taking time off to spend the summer holidays with their kids. Summer also brings with it an increased number of visitors to our Coast, which means more traffic.
Is it too much to ask to travel the posted speed limit, leave some distance between you and your fellow drivers and just, in general, drive safely? You won’t get to your destination any faster and, in fact, you may not arrive at your destination at all if you get into a car accident.
And as I said above, impaired driving incidents continue to be of concern — and not just here on the Sunshine Coast.
Last week, the provincial government dedicated more funding to enforcing B.C.’s tough impaired-driving laws and additional promotion around responsible driving decisions at key locations where alcohol is served.
As summer CounterAttack road checks ramp up this month, about $1 million will be added to enhance traffic enforcement budgets. This will increase the number of police roadblocks and the likelihood of catching those who ignore warnings about drinking and driving, as well as those who drive while impaired by drugs.
Those warnings will continue in related awareness advertising. A TV ad airing throughout June reminded drivers to take their turn as a designated driver, and a CounterAttack TV ad began airing province-wide July 2. Designated driver messages — highlighted in bars, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and sports venues throughout the year — will also be prominent at special events this summer.
Police will use the additional enforcement funding to set up multiple roadblocks at specific times and in new locations, as well as other enforcement tactics to help make B.C. roads safer into the summer vacation season.
There are no excuses any more. Let’s all have some road sense when we’re out travelling this summer. Let’s drive safely.