Young Driver Deaths: BC Coroners Service
The BC Coroners Service released recommendations today with the hope of mitigating something that we are already aware of, the fact that motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death for youth aged 15 to 18. The first two suggest that we study aspects of the issue in more detail and the third that the Ministry of Justice should develop and implement automated speed enforcement. I agree that a thorough understanding of the issue and a review of other jurisdictions best practices may lead to solutions but the devil and I will probably go ice skating together before automated speed enforcement returns to our province.
I'm going to climb up on my soapbox and pronounce that what we really need is a significant attitude adjustment for many drivers in BC regardless of how old they are. In fact, a lot of the behavioural adjustment is probably needed among the older drivers that these young people learn from. Look around you the next time your are out. The majority of drivers will not follow the speed limit. Sloppy driving practices of all kinds abound. Rarely do I see a conscientious defensive driver who takes pride in driving correctly and exercising courtesy to others.
Some parents do not effectively monitor their children as they learn to drive. The responsibility does not end when you hand over the keys. You must set the limits and then be there when the keys come back after the drive to make sure that they are followed. GLP drivers must have a zero (none, not any, nada) blood alcohol when they drive yet many drive to parties that involve alcohol on the weekends with passenger loads that are contrary to the conditions of their licence.
How do we create drivers that want to follow safe and proper driving practices? I wish that I had the answer to that for you. There would be a lot more to gain than lowering the death rate among young drivers. We would also save significant amounts of money in health care and vehicle insurance and actually create money through increased productivity. Even the environment would benefit through reduced pollution and carbon emissions. Maybe attitude is everything.