EDITORIAL: Drive safely
With beefed-up holiday roadblocks the West Vancouver Police Department snared more than 100 drinking drivers in December.
Despite slick ad campaigns and free safe-ride-home programs like Operation Red Nose, there’s still a frightening number of dangerous drivers on the road who haven’t grasped the simple message: if you drink, don’t drive.
Stats from the Christmas blitz are startling: three impaired arrests, five three-month driving prohibitions, 68 24-hour driving prohibitions for drinking and a half-dozen more for drug impairment.
Additionally, regular-duty WVPD road checks garnered 11 more impaired charges and 35 24-hour suspensions.
West Van police promise to continue enhanced enforcement over the holidays and during New Year’s Eve but eventually extra-duty roadblock shifts will be scaled back.
Fortunately, ICBC recently announced a new program that targets and financially penalizes dangerous drivers – all year long.
Starting Tuesday (Jan. 1), drivers who rack up driving infractions, like, for instance, roadside suspensions, will pay more to drive than those with clean driving records.
Bad-driver premiums last for up to three years and can be very costly.
Appropriately, those who get nailed for Criminal Code infractions, like many of the boozed-up drivers ticketed by West Van police last month, pay the most: $905 annually for three years. Repeat offenders face even stiffer costs.
ICBC is sending the right message to drivers who endanger others, most often their own passengers, innocent bystanders or motorists. ICBC says “high-risk” drivers, estimated to be about five per cent of all B.C. motorists, have double the number of crashes compared to those who obey the rules of the road.
Now, with the introduction of costly driver-risk premiums, along with heightened police presence on the streets, those motorists will finally pay the price for poor road habits that make the streets unsafe.
– The Outlook