EDITORIAL: Going for a drive, leave the phone alone

We say: A split second of your attention from the road is enough to cost someone’s life

One would think it wouldn’t still need to be said.

But RCMP and ICBC are again reminding drivers to leave the phone alone.

They’re launching yet another campaign aimed at underlining just how dangerous it is to use a phone while driving.

And it is dangerous.

According to ICBC, 25 per cent of all road deaths in the province involve distracted driving. That’s one in four.

And, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the odds of crashing increase five times when using a phone, whether dialing, texting, reading or using social media.

On Vancouver Island, it’s estimated that 10 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes every year.

Faced with those numbers, it’s hard to imagine why drivers would still use their phone while they’re behind the wheel.

But they do. According to a recent survey by Ipsos Reid, 34  per cent of cell phone users said they use their phone between one and five times out of every 10 trips.

“It’s time we all commit to leaving our phones alone and avoid other forms of distraction when we’re behind the wheel,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety.

This month police, backed by volunteers like Chilliwack Speedwatch, will be on the roads watching for drivers who have not yet got the message.

“We’re cracking down on those who cannot police themselves,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “Even when you’re at a red light or in slow moving traffic – you’re still in control of a vehicle – and the law still applies.”

Is checking your phone worth a ticket, or worse, an accident? No.

We can all be part of the solution. Talk to your family, talk to your friends and remind them that if they’re driving without their full attention on the road they’re an accident waiting to happen.

 

Just Posted

Another busy day for BC Ferry passengers

First sailings to and from Swartz Bay full or nearly full

Sooke kayak incident could have been averted: expert

Training is key, says local trainer

Did we mention the cookies?

An hour of your time could save a life at Sooke blood donor clinic

Fire damage to Esquimalt building leaves some tenants out for at least six months

Structural damage has barred half of the tenants from returning, while others might move back sooner

MISSING: Victoria woman Teci London

Victoria police are looking for a 41-year old woman last seen on April 16

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

TSB issues two safety recommendations in probe of fatal B.C. train derailment

The train derailment killed three crew members on board

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Short-circuit likely caused Notre Dame fire: police official

Investigators made an initial assessment of the cathedral but can’t yet search charred interior

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Contaminated soil to stay at contentious Shawnigan Lake site?

Reaction: “The community would lose their minds if this plan proceeds.”

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Snowbirds arrive on Vancouver Island for annual spring training

VIDEO: Acrobatic air team back in Comox for annual spring training

Most Read