Editorial: Car crash day of remembrance: are we listening?

Day remembers those who have lost their lives or been seriously injured on Canadian roads

Wednesday, Nov. 18 was the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims in Canada, set aside for Canadians to remember those who have lost their lives or been seriously injured on Canadian roads. Each year in this country, almost 1,900 people are killed on road crashes, and almost another 165,000 are injured.

But we have to ask, is anyone listening?

According to statistics, drug-impaired driving is now rivaling alcohol-impaired driving. Distracted driving continues to be a significant safety concern, with Canada’s youth most likely to text while driving.

Additional high-risk factors – all preventable – include speeding and aggressive driving, driver fatigue and failure to wear a seat belt.

Here in B.C., Justice Minister Suzanne Anton asked, “How many deaths are acceptable? The answer is none. Last year, we had 290 British Columbians lose their lives in crashes. So many of these are preventable by convincing people not to drink and drive, to put down their phone, or to stay within the speed limit.”

The bottom line is that road crashes impact everyone. Too often we think we’re immune to the effects of speed, of driving too closely or answering just one text.

From the letters page of the Oak Bay News, it’s clear that issues of speed are of considerable concern for area residents, but from recent police reports, we know also that incidents of driving after drinking and after smoking marijuana are still finding their way to local streets. Police have issued multiple driving suspensions over recent weeks, impounding drivers’ cars in the process. Another faced several charges this past weekend after colliding with multiple vehicles in the Foul Bay Road area.

Any one of these recent incidents could have ended in tragedy.

Want to learn more about the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims? Visit rememberroadcrashvictims.ca