EDITORIAL: Texting, driving an either-or choice

The Comox Valley RCMP, along with police detachments around B.C., are pulling out the stops to find and fine drivers who persist in handling their cellphones while behind the wheel.

But while the March campaign of education and enforcement is drawing to a close, this is a priority that deserves year-round attention.

ICBC statistics show that, on average, 78 people die every year in crashes where distracted driving is a contributing factor.

The tickets for such an offence — now adding up to $368 and four penalty points when caught the first time — are being handed out during a targeted campaign this month. And RCMP are finding new ways of catching offenders all over the province, from pulling up on bicycles beside occupied texters, to spotting offenders at the bottom of Fifth Street hill, then radioing ahead to the awaiting officers at Simms Park.

Certainly, there will be those who will argue against such action. Some will suggest police should be going after the “real criminals” — the ones who have been conducting late-night break-ins in our neighbourhoods and robbing our convenience stores. Others will claim they are no more distracted making a call or sending a text than drivers who are simply sipping coffee or chatting with a passenger.

The former is a blatant case of whataboutery, the latter a matter already decided by our provincial leaders and courts. Regardless, drivers must abide by the laws of the land or face the consequences.

For practical evidence that distracted driving is a real issue of real concern — rather than simply reading statistics — we suggest detractors take a drive down a busy street or, a walk. One usually doesn’t have to venture far to spot a driver who is more engaged with personal communication or activity than with the rules of the road.

The solution is simple: put down the phone, or get off the road. That choice is free. If you let the police make the decision for you it will cost. Even then, the fine is a far cheaper price to pay than that of a human life.

— Black Press

Just Posted

Major private donation to Kus-kus-sum project

Frank and Bobbi Denton, longtime residents of the Comox Valley, have donated… Continue reading

CONTEST: Win a pair of tickets to Sunfest Country Music Festival

Make sure to Like the Comox Valley Record’s Facebook page

3L happy with CVRD staff reversal of ruling

Company’s request for minor amendment to RGS was announced as defeated Tuesday, overturned Wednesday

Nickel Carnival coming to Courtenay

Families welcome for games, face painting, food and more

Specialized vehicle analyzing Courtenay roads

If you see a strange-looking white van with what looks like a… Continue reading

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018… Continue reading

Special Olympics athletes take on BC Games during Global Day of Inclusion

Twenty-five athletes and nine coaches are here in Cowichan Valley during the 50th anniversary

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser launched to help mom of French jogger detained after accidentally crossing U.S border

Cedella Roman, 19, was detained in America after accidentally crossing the border

Trump slams Federal Reserve rate hikes

Fed raised benchmark rate for a second time this year in June, and projects two more hikes to come

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

UPDATED: 1,500 residents on evacuation alert as Peachland under state of emergency

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

Police to provide update on case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur

McArthur worked as a landscaper, allegedly concealed the remains of seven men in planters

Most Read