Bad drivers abound

Kelowna's roads are dangerous, not by design but because of those who drive on them.

One doesn't have to look far to see dangerous driving behaviours, which are becoming the standard. This past weekend, power was out to more than 1,000 people because of speeding on Lakeshore. A church lost its electronic message sign when a pick-up lost control at a high-rate of speed on Gordon and landed on the church's front lawn.

The solution (to speeding) is enforcement. Unfortunately, our local law enforcement provider (the RCMP) is too busy with general duty tasks to provide the city with the traffic enforcement it needs. That is why our local government, and all of our elected officials, need to take public safety seriously.

“Visible traffic enforcement by law enforcement remains the most effective means of deterring violations of traffic law,” says Ted Leonard, executive director of the Pennsylvania AAA Foundation.

I refer to Steffan Zamzow's response to a letter that I wrote in February. He is the vice-president of the License Inspectors and Bylaw Officers Association of B.C. and he lays out a path forward to solve this city's poor driving record.

B.C. needs to adopt the tiered policing models that other provinces have, as Zamzow mentions in his response, "One of the recommendations the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act made included adopting a dynamic and flexible approach to policing that provides for different categories of policing and public safety personnel who have clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and functions such as responding to non-violent incidents and other situations that may not require uniformed police." he wrote,

"A tiered policing model will enhance community safety by providing alternative public safety service deliveries that will address efficiency, effectiveness and costs, allow police to focus on serious crime, all while enhancing livability and the quality of life of British Columbians."

More relevant to my concern with Kelowna's lack of traffic enforcement, he mentioned Alberta and other provinces have tiered policing models, in which local government law enforcement personnel (i.e. bylaw officers) can enforce provincial legislation i.e. Motor Vehicle Act, Trespass Act and sections of the Criminal Code.

If you don't think Kelowna has a problem then you haven't been reading the concerns expressed by many (residents) and you haven't paid attention while driving around the city.

In one day, I watched two cabs run red traffic lights, one at a pedestrian crossing with a pedestrian in the road and the other in my cone zone at Ritcher and KLO.

We are not talking about a late yellow (light), these lights were red. I won't pick on taxi drivers, even though they are some of the worst offenders. They share that title with many other commercial drivers who put all of our lives in danger. That includes pizza delivery drivers, package delivery drivers and other commercial drivers in unmarked personal vehicles that are used for deliveries.

Being commercial drivers, shouldn't they have to perform a pre-trip (inspection)? If they are supposed to, then the taxis are skipping it because (many) cabs have headlights burned out. (Regular drivers) don't drive much better than those mentioned above.

Park anywhere and observe traffic for five or 10 minutes, you will see what I see.

Troy Gangl

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