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

Langford could soon be seeing its first retail cannabis store

Clarity Cannabis BC Ltd. gets province’s approval

OUR VIEW: Search and rescue organization needs to be examined

No organization should be immune to scrutiny

Emerging Sooke filmmaker takes spotlight with special award

Mary Galloway creates her own opportunities

Greater Victoria is a tough market, even for former homeowners

Seniors often squeezed out of the housing market due to limited income

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read