EDITORIAL: Safe roadways up to drivers

NANAIMO: Some B.C. drivers won’t take a break from cellphone technology while operating a motor vehicle.

Some B.C. drivers won’t take a break from cellphone technology while operating a motor vehicle despite overwhelming evidence that distracted driving is the third leading cause of fatal crashes on the province’s roadways behind speeding and impaired driving.

So ICBC and police are revving up a month-long campaign beginning this weekend targeting people who talk or text on their mobile device while behind the wheel.

It’s a worthy endeavour and perhaps a $167 fine will convince drivers of the foolishness of their actions.

But police resources are limited compared to the number of drivers who figure the chances of getting caught are miniscule and answer their phone or make a call or text.

Responsibility for making the roads safer cannot fall solely on police. The public must take the privilege of driving seriously.

Operating a motor vehicle is one of the most complicated tasks one does in a day. Manoeuvring two tonnes of metal, glass and rubber at high speeds on relatively narrow roads, surrounded by others doing the same is not easy.

It only takes a second of inattention for disaster to strike. And inattention falls far beyond texting and talking on a cellphone.

While perhaps not against the law, distracted driving includes eating and drinking, riding with a pet on your lap, applying makeup or fumbling to change a CD in the stereo.

Thankfully, the majority of drivers understand their responsibility and get themselves, and others, to their destination in one piece. For those who don’t get the message, perhaps a hefty fine will make them change their ways.

Let’s just hope there’s no loss of life in the meantime.