Troubling driving stat

The Minister of Public Safety is reaching out to young men as they head back to school this September, pleading with them to think about their driving behaviours.

Mike Farnworth says he is troubled by the recent traffic statistics in British Columbia.

In 2017, there were about 350,000 crashes in the province with speed, distraction and impairment being the top contributing factors.

Fatal motor vehicle incidents involving motorcyclists have doubled in just the first seven months this year and serious collisions involving a pedestrian or cyclist occur daily.

“I'm troubled by these facts,” he said. “The reason I'm writing at this time is because - beyond the factors cited above - these incidents disproportionately involve one other thing.”

That one thing is young men, as drivers and victims.

“More than three times as many male drivers die on our roads as female drivers,” said Farnworth.

His message isn’t intended to be a killjoy and he knows many young men will be jumping in a nice car or a sleek new bike this September.

“What I want you to consider is how easily you could become a killjoy by not using your power responsibly,” he said.

Farnworth says if young men are distracted by their phone, impaired by alcohol or drugs, or just pulled an all-nighter to finish a paper, the situation is guaranteed to be worse.

“But trust me: what you really don't want is to be remembered for killing yourself, a friend or a complete stranger,” he said.

The B.C. government has taken steps to protect people from dangerous drivers such as activating red light cameras at 140 high-risk intersections.

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