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Three Serious Car Accidents, Tougher Distracted Driving PenaltiesOctober 20th, 2014 | by admin admin | in News | 0
Saturday was a busy night for first responders around the Lower Mainland. About 9:30 p.m., a 24-year-old Langley man, who was not wearing a seatbelt, drove into a hydro pole at 16 Avenue and 256 Street, snapping it into two and cutting power to approximately 500 homes overnight. He was airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Alcohol and speed are being investigated as possible causes.
Alcohol is also suspected in another serious motor vehicle accident, just after midnight at West Broadway and Cypress Street in Vancouver. A 29-year-old man remains in hospital in critical condition after the collision. Meanwhile, police are mystified by a three-car-crash at a four-way stop in Chilliwack at 6:30 p.m. where neither alcohol, speed nor distracted driving appear to be factors. Two victims, one with critical injuries, were hospitalized.
These accidents are chilling reminders to drive with caution. With the rainy season upon us—the weather forecast calls for 70 to 90 mm of rain over Tuesday and Wednesday—and Daylight Savings ending on November 2, Lower Mainland roads will be even more dangerous.
Coincidentally tougher distracted driving penalties kick in today, October 20. If you’re caught operating a handheld device, such as a cell-phone or GPS, or watching a DVD, while driving, you will receive three driver penalty points in addition to the $167 fine. That’s the same penalty as for texting while driving.
On average, distracted driving kills 88 people per year in B.C. Speed and distracted driving, with alcohol close behind, are the top contributing factors in fatal crashes.
So, here’s a quick reminder:
- Slow down. Remember, wet roads will be more slippery.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Toss your cell phone in the trunk or back seat if it’s too tempting.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Hands-free means a Bluetooth or wired headset, or speakerphone.
- Plan ahead. Set your GPS, turn off your cell phone or put on your headset and turn off the DVD before you start the car. Make sure your tires are ready for winter driving. Get enough rest to cope with darker commutes.
- Pull over. If your phone call or text really can’t wait, pull over to deal with it.
See also ICBC’s fact sheet on driver distraction.
Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.
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