Mounties on lookout for high-risk driving

Local Mounties are teaming up with ICBC to promote the insurance company's high-risk driving campaign in May.

Local Mounties are teaming up with ICBC to promote the insurance company’s high-risk driving campaign in May.

Police across the province will be keeping an eye on driving behaviours, especially at intersections. Cops are on the lookout for speeding, failing to yield to oncoming traffic or obey traffic control signals, improper passing, following too closely to the vehicle in front of you, and more.

Last week Mission RCMP and community Speed Watch volunteers and ICBC representative Don Miller jump-started the operation near Cedar Street and Seventh Avenue, one of the community’s top crash corners.

Any intersection is dangerous if inappropriate driving behaviour is exhibited, said Miller.

According to ICBC, driver actions contribute to 63 per cent of all police-attended crashes involving injuries and fatalities in B.C.

In the Lower Mainland, 53,300 people are injured every year and 74 per cent of the crashes happen at intersections, said Miller.

“We all need to understand driving is complex,” he added. “When you slow down, you see more of the road.”

Mounties will also be looking for people having a dog on their lap, using a cellphone behind the wheel, and seatbelt use, said Mission RCMP Sgt. Miriam Dickson.

We’re seeing people with seatbelts behind their shoulders, which defeats the purpose of a shoulder strap, Dickson explained. “A lap belt won’t hold you back in a crash.”

Dickson often hears people who are pulled over for a driving infraction ask why police aren’t chasing the “bad guys” instead of writing tickets, and she tells them, “the highest cause of death in the country is traffic collisions. Safety is a primary focus.”