Viewpoint

Information related to the author's viewpoint.

OPINION - Does Speeding Actually Cause Crashes?

Speed Demon Many drivers believe speeding alone does not actually cause crashes. While not totally inaccurate, this over-simplified phrase does not paint the whole picture. The fact is, very few crashes are caused by one factor alone, and this includes speeding, but downplaying the impact of speeding can prove to be deadly.

HERGOTT LAW - Would Increasing Distracted Driving Penalties Actually Make the Problem Worse?

Hergott Law logoPaul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer that practices in Kelowna are regularly writes on road safety. His latest article examines what might happen when the government increases the penalties for distracted driving. The position that he takes is that this could increase the problem by driving everyone to switch to hands free technologies.

HERGOTT LAW - Icy Roads Don't Cause Crashes

Hergott Law logoPaul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer that practices in Kelowna are regularly writes on road safety. One of his latest articles compares the newspaper headline “Dangerously icy roads lead to crashes” with “Deep water leads to drowning.” His position is that we need to grumble and complain about drivers who fail to use good winter tires and who overdrive the conditions. Not about the naturally occurring ice and snow.

My Name is Tim and I'm a Bad Driver

Bad Driver ImageI don't try to be a bad driver, quite the opposite in fact, I try to do my best when I get behind the wheel. However, being human, I occasionally fail. So do we all. Hopefully that sets me apart from drivers who don't know any better, drivers who let their skills slip and drivers who really don't care.

What am I Entitled to Expect as a Driver?

Stressed Out DriverThe headline read “Malahat crash sees angry motorists verbally abuse first responders.”

One person died in a T-bone collision on Highway 1 north of Victoria requiring a highway closure from the Summit to the Bamberton exit while emergency responders provided life saving assistance, investigation and cleanup. Closures such as this one are done with the permission of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

This closure lasted from about 4:45 to 9:30 p.m. and since there was no alternate route around the scene, drivers were forced to wait until the closure was lifted.

OPINION - Politics and Road Safety

SoapboxThis has been an interesting week for road safety. The Provincial Health Officer has released a report, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Reducing the Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes on Health and Well-being in BC, that suggests lower speed limits in residential areas and the return of automated speed enforcement as a means of reducing injury and death on our roads. Tom Fletcher is the legislative reporter for the Black Press in Victoria. He quotes Minister Todd Stone's response to the report:

"We believe there are more effective technologies that can be employed, and frankly a better way to utilize precious police resources than to resurrect what was largely a failed photo radar program that was nothing more than a tax grab for British Columbians,"

Bring Back Automated Speed Enforcement

SoapboxAccording to B.C.'s new 10 Year Transportation Plan, safety on British Columbia’s highways and side roads is the ministry’s number-one priority. Four pages of the 56 page report are dedicated to the topic. Aside from physical infrastructure improvements and singling out left lane hogs for special attention, only the slow down move over law is mentioned. My wish is that the province would bring back automated speed enforcement.

Do We Trust Too Much?

SoapboxI was walking to my vehicle after work yesterday and watched the woman on the sidewalk ahead of me approach the intersection. She did not hesitate to step into the crosswalk even though a vehicle on her left had stopped halfway across it waiting to enter traffic. The driver was watching intently to her left waiting for a gap in traffic. The pedestrian checked her stride and I thought that she was going to wait for the driver to notice her before she crossed in front of the vehicle.

Justifying Our Misbehaviour

SoapboxTonight's six o'clock news contained a story about how police had issued over 5,500 tickets for using electronic devices while driving offences across the province in February 2013. More than 100 more were ticketed for driving without due care and attention. It means to me that lots of drivers aren't obeying the law and more than 100 were caught doing something dangerous because of it.

OPINION - Raising the Level of Consequences

Paul Hergott Law logoTaking away someone's privilege to drive is viewed as a drastic step in correcting driving behaviour. Currently, a fully licensed driver has to accumulate a significant number of points in a year before the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles takes steps to apply this penalty. In my experience, the traffic courts are also reluctant to take this step, saying "I'll leave that up to the Superintendent." when the officer prosecuting requests a prohibition as part of the penalty.

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