Editorial: Driving responsibility

Evan matthews valemount headshot

by EVAN MATTHEWS, EDITOR

On average, over the last five years there are 16,000 crashes annually in North Central B.C., according to ICBC.

Included in those crashes are 3,300 injured victims and 50 fatalities annually.

Why am I telling you this?

A friend of mine was killed this past weekend, senselessly. He was 25-years-old. To make matters worse, another friend of mine who was also in the vehicle is still fighting for his life, as he lays in critical condition, in a coma.

The story, which takes place in Winnipeg, MB, goes like this: It was a single vehicle collision. The driver of the vehicle was driving twice the posted speed limit. He hit a curb and went airborne, as his F150 flew through a tree, a fence, and finally came to rest as it crashed into the lobby of an apartment building.

Now I’ll spew some clichés about my friend. He was full of life, he was always the life of the party, his smile was contagious and most everybody liked him — except these aren’t clichés in reference to my friend, because these descriptions are true.

These descriptions are true about him the same way they are true about your son or daughter, your brother or sister, or your friend. The point is, we all have people we love in our lives.

In terms of ICBC statistics, there is good news. Collisions relating to impaired driving or excessive speed have been steadily declining dating back to 2006.

However, the number of collisions relating to distracted driving has remained fairly consistent over the same period.

In the case of my friends, the police haven’t released much information. Ultimately, we don’t know what caused the collision aside from excessive speed. We aren’t sure if there were drugs and alcohol involved, and we don’t know if the driver was on his phone.

But we do know they were driving at speeds in excess of 100 km/h in a residential area.

I’ve seen complaints on social media as of late about people driving too fast within the village’s limits.

My message would be this: No matter where you’re driving — whether on the highway or in a residential area — be aware of your situation. Don’t text. Don’t speed. Don’t drink and drive.

If you injure yourself or someone else, I can assure you there will be people who are absolutely devastated. Let’s try to work together to avoid any senseless tragedies before they happen.

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