Slow down and have some road sense

Ian Jacques/Editor / Staff writer
September 28, 2012 01:00 AM

For the second time in as many days, Sunshine Coast RCMP are investigating a serious motorcycle crash on Highway 101.

Early Sunday night, a 65-year-old driver crossed over the centre line and crashed into the northbound ditch. Luckily, his cries for help were heard by a Halfmoon Bay resident, who called for help. Police and paramedics arrived on scene and the man was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital where, despite his severe injuries, he is expected to survive.

A 56-year-old Kelowna man was not so fortunate, as he succumbed to his injuries in VGH last Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses reported seeing the driver lose control of his bike rounding an S-curve near Francis Peninsula Road in Madeira Park. He then struck the front end of a travel van.

Both cases are still being investigated, but it is very likely high speed and inattention to the roadway were factors in these accidents.

One person dead and another seriously injured should be more than enough for all of us to pause and think the next time we get behind the wheel.

According to ICBC, unsafe speed, defined as driving too fast for road and traffic conditions, is one of the most frequently cited contributing factors to police-reported crashes in the province. This, combined with other high-risk driving action, such as running red lights and stop signs and driving too closely behind other cars (an all too common occurrence witnessed by drivers here on the Sunshine Coast), means more and more accidents and more chances of people needlessly being hurt or killed on our roadways.

In the case of motorcycles, they are growing in popularity in B.C. with 98,000 bikes insured in 2011. Many who own a bike follow all the proper driving procedures, they wear the proper safety gear, and they share the roadway with other vehicles with safety and respect. Sadly, some do not, which might be the case with these two accidents. Speed appears to be a factor in both crashes, so slowing down and keeping your distance are just two ways of being safe on the roads.

Highway 101 is full of twists and turns, side streets and vehicle and pedestrian traffic. It's a roadway that demands respect and your full attention. Over the years, we've reported on far too many injury-related crashes and more fatalities than we wish to recall. Let these two recent incidents be a wake-up call for us all. Slow down and have some road sense. It's better to be late for your destination than drive too fast and end up injured or killed in an accident.

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