EDITORIAL: Paying attention saves lives

Road conditions can't always be blamed for crashes, paying attention saves lives

When the weather changes from warm and sunny to rainy and cold, everything feels it including the roadways. When the rain hits the pavement it tends to get slick. We have had a lot of rubber on the roads and a great buildup of it makes for slippery driving. The water tends to puddle on top and then you get hydro-planing, which is hard to maneuver in, even for the best drivers.

The Malahat has its share of accidents, but all of them cannot be blamed on the road. Not much can be done about the rain and slippery conditions but something can and certainly should be done about the drivers on that roadway. There is always a temptation to speed just a little and pass those who seem like they are driving too slow. The Malahat is not the Indy 500 or the Autobahn. It’s a highway that is curvaceous and often foggy. It, like any highway, can be dangerous especially to inexperienced or elderly drivers. If everyone slows down a bit on that roadway then the accidents will certainly decrease and everyone will safely get to where they are going.

Many of our province’s highways now post speed limits of 120 kmph but that doesn’t mean we should drive that speed. Road conditions and construction zones should be taken into account. Currently, in British Columbia, fines for speeding in a construction zone can cost the offender up to $483.

Now is the time to put the brakes on bad driving habits. The kids will be back in school and they may not be paying as much attention as they should to vehicles. If you are caught speeding in a school or playground zone you can reach into your wallet to pay a  fine of $196 to $483 plus three driver penalty points. The posted speed in school zones is 30 km an hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on school days.

And another reminder to pay attention when you are driving. Distracted driving is more than being on a cell phone, it can be eating, fetching something or just looking away. Pay attention to those in front of you and back of you and drive defensively. Slow down, the life you save might be your own.