Care needed on the roads

What is speeding?

Speeding is defined as driving any amount over the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions, which can include driving under the speed limit.

Excessive speeding typically means driving 25 km/h or more above the posted speed limit.

Driving at speeds in excess of the posted limit at any time increases the risk of being involved in a serious collision. Small increases in speed translate to big increases in risk.

For instance, an increase in speed of as little as 1% increases your risk of being involved in a crash by 4%. Similarly, small decreases in speed equal large decreases in crash risk. Your reaction time can be in excess of 1.5 seconds before your brakes are applied. The distance you travel before coming to a stop depends on many factors including the road condition and the vehicle’s condition etc.

Every year, 800 Canadians die and another 3,000 are injured in collisions where speed was the major contributing factor Speeding and distracted driving are a contributing factor in the majority of crashes leading to serious injury or death.

You’re driving the familiar route home from work on a beautiful Friday afternoon. After a difficult week you are anxious to get out of your car and meet up with your friends to unwind, but you are running a little bit late.

You turn onto your residential street going 60 km/h, despite the fact your neighbours have voiced their concern over your speed. You have always felt as if you are a good driver and that they should mind their own business, and it still feels safe to you because you know these streets like the back of your hand.

Suddenly, as you enter within a block of your house, a small neighbourhood child runs into the street chasing a puppy. You slam on the brake pedal but you are going too fast to stop in time. You swerve to avoid the child and end up running over the dog. Your SUV isn’t damaged, but you know that things could have easily turned out much worse.

In Kelowna, I have rarely seen the RCMP actively performing traffic enforcement, as they have been tied up with crimes like assaults, theft and break-ins, preventing them from performing their duty to enforce the Motor Vehicle Act.

That is why the majority of (residents) in Kelowna drive like maniacs. It is also why we have five to 15 major car collisions per day, why (towing company) Mario’s can afford to pay the city a $500,000 each year to buy the city (towing contract) contract and why our city road crews are constantly replacing light standards, stop signs and so forth.

It's all fun and games until you run over a child, kill a puppy, cause your passengers death or kill yourself. Is that what it takes for “intelligent life” to learn how to properly behave, death?

Stop texting and driving, slow down when passing construction crews or broken-down vehicles, always drive at a speed where you could come to a complete stop before killing someone and let's try and prove that we are, in fact, an intelligent, compassionate, considerate (people).

Think before you do and try to be kind behind the wheel, especially to vulnerable road users.

Troy Gangl

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