Opinion

EDITORIAL: Keep pressuring high-risk drivers

Last weekend’s long weekend unofficially ushered in the summer season in the Capital Region – that means more beach time, more barbecues and, for many, more time on the road.

That’s why police agencies are waging a focused assault on speeding and aggressive driving.

Saanich police in particular are hitting problem roads and intersections this month to drive home the idea that tailgating, speeding and high-risk driving won’t be tolerated.

It’s the kind of driving behaviour that frustrates motorists on a daily basis – someone riding too close on the highway or weaving in and out of traffic, running yellow and red lights and generally behaving in ways that ramp up road rage.

If homeowners are going to call the police about something in their neighbourhood, more often than not it’s about speeding or racing.

For police, combating reckless driving is a labour-intensive and time-consuming task. Unlike roadblocks where officers can wait for drunk drivers to come to them, traffic patrol officers need to witness and document speeding and dangerous driving.

But it’s a worthwhile effort. Culled from police data, ICBC attributes 60 per cent of all crashes at intersections to speed, distracted and inattentive driving and ignoring right-of-ways.

On Vancouver Island that drops to 50 per cent, but police link 29 traffic fatalities on average per year on the Island to speeding and reckless driving.

The annual campaign against high-risk driving picks up across the province in May, and more people than usual are being hit with tickets. But people need to remember police aren’t the enemy – traffic officers are trying to make the roads safer and more civil for all.

Drinking and driving remains a high-profile problem and, by definition, is risky driving. But it’s the purely aggressive, high-risk driving that impacts people’s day-to-day lives as they drive to work or school or for recreation.

We encourage police and ICBC to help keep the pressure on bad drivers year round.

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