EDITORIAL: Drive smarter

No excuse for the risks that are being taken on the roads

Drivers these days have quite the challenge, whether they’re on the roads to commute to and from work, or behind the wheel during the day specifically for their jobs.

To be blunt – it’s a jungle out there.

With rampant development driving an influx of residents and new businesses, there’s – obviously – more vehicles on the road. Parents are hustling to get their kids to school on time; workers are racing to punch the clock; and then, of course, there’s everyone else heading to go shopping, camping, hang out on the beach or sundry some other destination.

Climbing gas prices don’t appear to have swayed people from getting behind the wheel to join the endless caravan.

What’s disturbing, however, is that as the roads get busier, drivers appear to be getting both more aggressive with their driving decisions – perhaps due to poor planning that is leaving them with a limited time to reach their destinations – and paying less attention.

South Surrey’s 16 Avenue is a prime example.

On a daily basis, commuters can routinely be seen passing lines of traffic along stretches of road where they’re separated from oncoming vehicles with a pair of solid yellow lines – you know, the ones that prohibit passing, for safety reasons. They do this on blind hills and corners, and, when particularly impatient, use the intersection left-turn lane to pass.

And 16th, sadly, is far from the exception.

Closer to town, intersections are a growing concern. Drivers wanting to turn right are so intent on grabbing the first gap in traffic that they simply don’t notice the pedestrians who are about to get the walk signal that gives them priority to cross.

Too often, left-turn drivers have the same mindset, either gunning through the intersection to try and get through ahead of those pesky pedestrians, or turning into them as they cross – creating yet another hazard as they block oncoming lanes in their haste – or literally not even seeing the pedestrians until they’re almost under their wheels.

Congestion or not, time-pressed or not, there’s just no excuse for the risks that are being taken.

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