Opinion

Our take: It’s a dangerous road you drive, so pay attention

Make no mistake: reporters hate going to car wrecks and taking pictures of another injured person being helped by our caring paramedics, firefighters, and police officers.

Those folks see, first-hand, the carnage of careless, distracted driving — using cellphones, texting, eating and even applying makeup —  while at the wheel.

That tragic stupidity killed 81 people on B.C.’s roads — 14 on the island — in 2012, compared to 55 deaths from drunk driving.

Even one death — or one collision — by preventable reasons is too many.

Animals hopping on to highways, or a medical emergency, are acceptable reasons for vehicle accidents.

Otherwise, to be blunt, too often there’s an idiot and a victim involved a two-vehicle incident.

No one is forced to call or text a friend while driving.

We suggest, and the RCMP urge, citizens to note license-plate numbers, then call 911 to report distracted drivers and speeders.

We also back B.C.’s drive to jack distracted-driving fines to help save lives and property.

Frankly, a $167 fine, and perhaps three demerit points, apparently isn’t enough to stop determined cellphone addicts.

Let’s boost fines to $1,000, more for repeat offenders.

Let’s adopt a recent police idea of confiscating offenders’ vehicles, and their licences, for a year — with mandatory jail terms if they still don’t get the message.

This is a life-and-death issue.

Costly too, in police time, insurance claims, and lost lives.

Is it so hard to pull over to answer that call? If not, it could be your last. Distracted drving is unsafe at any speed.

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