The only thing I wanted for my 16th birthday was my driver's licence. My father took time off of work to drive me to what was then called the Motor License Office where I earned my learner's. It was a big day in my life, and marked the first milestone in joining the world of the adult.
Thirty years later, I look back on that time and wonder how I made it this far. Twenty years in traffic enforcement has taught me to wonder what is coming around the corner to get me today as I patrol our highways. There are many spots where I drive by and think about that fatal collisions that I have investigated.
How risky is driving, particularly for a new driver? Simply put, car crashes are the number one killer of youth today. The next top four causes (suicide, cancer, accidental poisoning and other transport incidents) taken together don't add up to this total. In 2003, 83 young people between the ages of 13 and 21 were killed in one of the 47,800 youth related crashes on B.C. highways.
ICBC, Autoplan Brokers, police and community groups are working together to try and reduce these figures. Conversations, Road Sense speakers, Drive 05, the PARTY program are all attempts to increase road safety awareness among young drivers and to help them survive to become adults.
Are you concerned about what kind of driver your teen will be? If you are, set the example yourself. Driving attitudes are formed long before the age of 16 as your children take their lead from what you do behind the wheel.