Wednesday October 01, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Survey results are meant for general information only, and are not based on recognised statistical methods.




Are you getting the message?

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The hot new business opportunity in Saskatchewan might be a vehicle impound lot.

Thanks to the new driving regulations imposed by SGI, they're seeing an influx of clients, and a surge in revenues.

According to figures released by SGI Canada earlier this month, 515 motorists received licence suspensions and 785 had their vehicles seized, in the first five weeks that the new, tougher driving regulations have been in place.

If the figures weren't so troubling, they might be classified as humourous.

Among the vehicle seizures, 352 were for impaired driving. Another 280 were for unauthorized drivers, and 153 were for high-risk driving actions.

It's great that the provincial government has implemented tougher penalties, and has made it easier to seize vehicles for distracted driving and highly excessive speed. It could also be argued that the government didn't go far enough.

The message is out there: if you choose to drive in a dangerous fashion, whether it be because you're impaired, you're talking on your phone while driving, or you're driving at a very unsafe rate of speed, then not only will you lose your licence, but you can expect to lose your vehicle, and pay a hefty amount of money to free it from an impound lot.

Unfortunately, too many people haven't received the memo, because the new rules haven't been a deterrent.

Too many haven't clued in about the dangers of impaired driving. There is no excuse for driving while impaired. With all of the awareness and the education about the pitfalls of drinking and driving, and all the options out there for a safe ride home, impaired driving should be non-existent.

Know your limits, plan a safe ride home, and be cognizant of others. It's so simple that even a child should be able to understand.

Other people are dangerous drivers because they think they can run red lights, or drive as fast as they want. They think they need to reach for their phone just because it's ringing, or, even worse, because they just received another text message from a friend.

Some people will wise up once they get nailed the first time or the second time. But others will continue to believe they have the right to put others at risk.

So while it's great that there's tough new legislation, these rules will have to be updated again in a few years. They'll need to be tougher. Seizing vehicles and issuing steep fines might not be enough. Frequent violators should be removed from the road entirely, and relegated to a life of using public transit and yelling “Taxi!”


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