EDITORIAL: Impaired drivers still the target

Shifting of funding from Christmas to summer a proper use of resources

Fewer CounterAttack roadblocks this holiday season doesn’t mean you can take the party on the road.

According to ICBC, around 30 per cent of car crash fatalities are related to impaired driving.

That’s why ICBC funds enhanced enforcement to help prevent impaired driving through CounterAttack campaigns in July and December.

This year that funding shifted, with more cash for summertime roadblocks and programs such as seatbelt campaigns.

Saanich police, for example, have three extra roadblocks this winter instead of the nine set to snare drinking drivers last December.

The shift seems inevitable when you look at Stats Canada numbers from 2011 that show a 1,355 impaired driving accidents in the nation over one July weekend, (15 to 17) plus Canada Day (1,449) and the last weekend of July (1,411). Over the Christmas weekend that year, Dec. 23 to 25, there were 792 incidents.

While the necessary funding shift from winter to summer appears to leave officers high and dry hopefully the message is getting through.

The psychological effects of generations of drivers expecting to see roadblocks has culminated in a distinct fear and expectation during the Christmas season that those familiar flashing lights could be around the next corner. Common fodder, and complaint, over pints in the pub is that B.C. has the most stringent drinking and driving laws in the country. In cash alone it can cost from $600 to more than $4,000 in fines and fees if you get caught.

That’s aside from the legal and moral implications.

As a society, we don’t think it’s okay for folks to overindulge and drive home. Police across the region routinely respond to calls from the public about possible impaired drivers. Aside from seasonal CounterAttack roadblocks, police are always looking for the telltale signs of an impaired driver. Training these days even extends beyond alcohol, so officers recognize drivers ingesting other substances before getting behind the wheel.

Greater Victoria police are adamant funding changes won’t stop them from cracking down on drinking and driving – after all, B.C. has the toughest laws in Canada.

Just Posted

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

Courtenay family looking for help after baby born two months premature

A GoFundMe page has been set up as a difficult pregnancy and a long stay in Victoria have left the family struggling to get by

Land & Sea Brewing Company opens its doors in Comox

Managing director says the brewery will be a compliment to the Valley’s craft beer scene

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Canada’s robust credit rating should calm unease about federal deficits: Trudeau

Trudeau says Canada’s long-running triple-A rating means experts have confidence in his government’s approach to the economy

CIBC shrinks event after Whistler mayor irks oil producers

After Whistler sent a letter to a Calgary-based oilsands giant, several energy firms said they would back out of the CIBC event.

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Trial rights of accused spy for China at risk, lawyer tells Supreme Court

The lawyer for a man accused of trying to spy for China says federal foot-dragging over secrecy is endangering his client’s right to timely justice.

‘Recall fatigue’: Canadians may avoid certain foods over holidays

In the winter, Canada’s supply of fresh fruit and vegetables tends to come from very specific areas.

Sea King helicopters make formal retirement flight Monday

Monday flight pattern includes Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum

Mount Washington ski hill opens

Lineups started early Saturday

Most Read