OUR VIEW: Take your time on the roads this weekend

Anecdotally we know long weekends equal accidents and statistics agree

The District of Oak Bay recently reminded us how easy it is to drive faster than we expect. With the flash of numbers on Oak Bay Avenue, some drivers learned they were beyond the realm of the 40 km/h limit there.

As we enter a long weekend and guests come in to our community for a visit, or residents head over the Malahat in search of an Island adventure history is cause for concern.

Police nabbed far too many speeders on the Malahat Drive earlier this week. Normally the highway near the summit is a posted 80 km/h speed limit but it’s been lowered due to construction. There’s a reason the limit is lowered and what some people forget, is those limits are in place whether construction is underway or not. According to ICBC statistics there were 420 reported crashes in 2012 in Oak Bay: 60 of those resulted in injuries and 10 involved pedestrians.

Anecdotally we know long weekends equal accidents. On the road over an average B.C. Day long weekend, five people are killed and 533 injured in 1,935 crashes across the province, according to ICBC crash and injury data from 2007 to 2011 and police fatality data covering 2006 to 2010. On average, there are 274 crashes and 64 injured victims each year on Vancouver Island over this particular three-day weekend.

So whether you’re staying in town or hitting the road plan ahead and drive safely. With the mercury reflecting the onset of mid-summer, consumption of adult beverages tends to go up. If you intend to drink, plan a safe ride home first, whether its a designated driver, transit, cab or your mom.

Check your oil, washer fluid, lights and tires before heading out. If you’re taking gear, make sure it’s well secured, a kayak flying off mid-drive is a massive danger. Use extra caution and keep a look out for other road users from motorcyclists and cyclists to pedestrians.

Lastly, be realistic about how long it takes to get from A to B and, as with the drive along Oak Bay Avenue, take your time.

Driving below posted speed limits, within reason, are a driver’s prerogative both in Oak Bay, and on the highways.