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A summer holiday, warm sunny weather, backyard barbecues where an alcoholic beverage or two might be consumed, and congested roads are a dangerous mix. Sometimes fatal.
Long weekends are particularly notorious for tragedy on the roads and highways. Drivers anxious to get to the lake in time to secure a camp spot, a moment’s inattention to deal with restless kids in the back seat, even an annoying bee buzzing the windshield can all have life-altering consequences if they lead to a crash.
According to ICBC, there are more than 20,000 motor vehicle collisions in the average year in Burnaby and New Westminster. Approximately 6,600 people will be injured in those collisions.
Some will be lucky to get away with little more than a scratch, cleaned up by emergency responders and sent on their way to deal with insurance details and getting their vehicle repaired. Others will suffer more severe, debilitating injuries that will have a devastating impact on their lives, their ability to work and pursue the activities they love. They’ll burden the medical and legal systems and perhaps eventually social welfare programs.
Some won’t even be that lucky, bringing heartbreak and hardship to those who love them.
Every year police and government authorities do their best to reduce the chances of catastrophic collisions with safety and awareness campaigns, as well as improvements to infrastructure like intersections, traffic signals and on-ramps. In 2011 ICBC spent approximately $38 million on road safety programs in the province including CounterAttack, intersection cameras and speakers tours.
But it’s never enough when that person T-boned by an impaired driver is someone you know and love.
Be safe and drive carefully this BC Day weekend.