Many of us take for granted the fact that we have a licence and are able to drive.
The ability to drive is a privilege, not necessarily a right and should be treated as such - with respect for the road, respect for the law and respect for fellow drivers and pedestrians.
We have all seen our fair share of traffic infractions, drivers not paying attention or not following the rules of the road. We have all, at one point or another, been guilty of a rule infraction or two, but it's time that changes for the safety of us all.
It is in that vein that we are fully supportive of the latest traffic safety initiative launched last week by the provincial government, ICBC and provincial police and RCMP agencies around the province.
The initiative centres around distracted driving, still the leading cause of fatalities on our roadways. In fact, according to ICBC, distracted driving is the third leading cause of fatal car crashes in the province, behind speed and impaired driving. On average, 91 people are killed each year in B.C. due to driver distractions, such as using hand-held electronic devices like cell phones behind the wheel.
Distracted driving and the danger it poses is nothing new. Since the ban on talking on cell phones while driving came into effect a few years ago, it's shocking that people still forget or ignore the ruling.
We have seen countless drivers here on the Sunshine Coast talking on their phones while driving, ignorant or oblivious to the dangers that practice can have. And there is no excuse for this behaviour. With technology as it is, most vehicles now have Bluetooth capabilities where you don't have to have the phone up to your ear to speak with someone. Why not have a headset while you drive so if you have to make a call, you can at least keep both hands on the wheel?
But the major point we would like to make is why do we have to be talking on the phone while driving at all? If the phone call is that important, pull over to the side of the road, make your call and then continue safely down the road. Or better yet, make your call before you get into your car altogether.
It's everyone's responsibility to be safe on the road. Put down the cell phone and keep your eyes on the road. We'd all be better off if more people remembered that.
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