EDITORIAL: Cracking down on drivers

The May long weekend is notorious for seeing an increase in traffic accidents, some with fatal consequences.

The unofficial start to summer has arrived as thousands of B.C.ers will hit the road this May long weekend to go camping, visit relatives or just leave their homes to enjoy some leisure time in the (hopefully) sunny weather.

But all that excitement to “get away” means thousands more cars on the road.

The May long weekend is notorious for seeing an increase in traffic accidents, some with fatal consequences.

ICBC stats indicate that, on average, 340 people are injured in 1,100 crashes throughout the Lower Mainland – including Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley – every year over the Victoria Day long weekend. Provincially, on average, two people are killed and 490 injured during the three-day weekend.

With these stats in mind, police are kicking off an enforcement blitz, beginning today, to try and prevent a tragic incident and cut down on high-risk driving habits.

While impaired driving is a concern, many collisions are caused by smaller errors in judgment.

Failing to yield the right-of-way, speeding, unsafe lane changes, tailgating and ignoring traffic control devices are all contributors to accidents.

According to ICBC 43 per cent of all crashes in B.C. are a result of failing to yield, and 60 per cent of all crashes happen at intersections.

Here in Mission, Project Swoop takes place on the Lougheed Highway as RCMP officers focus on cracking down on drivers who display these bad habits.

Police will be handing out tickets to drivers who break the rules of the road. A fine is a small price to pay if it helps prevent a fatal collision.

The weekend is supposed to be a fun time – drive slow, drive safe and come home alive.

If the statistics hold true, two B.C.ers won’t this weekend.