EDITORIAL: Don’t be a driving stat

The summer is supposed to be a fun time of family vacations, festivals and events to explore — drive slow, drive safe and come home alive.

The unofficial start to summer has arrived as thousands of British Columbians hit the road this past May long weekend to go camping, visit relatives or just leave their homes to enjoy some leisure time in the sunny weather.

But all that excitement to “get away” means thousands more cars on the road.

The May long weekend is notorious for seeing an increase in traffic accidents, some with fatal consequences.

ICBC stats indicate that, on average, 68 people are injured in 260 crashes throughout the Southern Interior every year over the Victoria Day long weekend. Provincially, on average, two people are killed and 490 injured during the three-day weekend.

According to RCMP, in 2013 and 2014 the South Okanagan Similkameen area has seen an alarming increase in motorcycle fatalities and injury crashes. Fatal motorcycle crashes have doubled in each of the last two years.

With these stats in mind, police are kicking off their summer enforcement blitz to try and prevent a tragic incidents and cut down on high-risk driving habits.

While impaired driving is a concern, many collisions are caused by smaller errors in judgment.

Failing to yield the right-of-way, speeding, unsafe lane changes, tailgating and ignoring traffic control devices are all contributors to accidents.

According to ICBC, 43 per cent of all crashes in B.C. are a result of failing to yield, and 60 per cent of all crashes happen at intersections.

Police will be handing out tickets to drivers who break the rules of the road. A fine is a small price to pay if it helps prevent a fatal collision.

The summer is supposed to be a fun time of family vacations, festivals and events to explore — drive slow, drive safe and come home alive.

If the statistics hold true, two B.C.’ers didn’t this past weekend.