Eyes on the road

The Compass - - OPINION -

It’s that time of year when every­one’s step gets a lit­tle quicker, moods start get­ting a lit­tle lighter and the day­dream­ing of warm sunny days be­come more and more fre­quent.

That’s not to say win­ter is his­tory, since April and even May can bring snow our way, but the longer hours of day­light and some­what spo­radic warmer tem­per­a­tures, all give a sign, as well as a lot of hope, spring is just around the cor­ner.

What it also means is the prov­ince’s beloved im­mi­grant from the deer fam­ily – the moose – is friskier than ever af­ter a hard win­ter in the woods and is mov­ing around more, es­pe­cially near high­ways.

This also means the odds in­crease for a moose-ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent, and while moose seem to be smart and elu­sive an­i­mals – at least dur­ing hunt­ing sea­son – it’s up to the hu­mans to drive on the side of cau­tion.

There have been many lives lost through the years due to moo­seve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, and no mat­ter how care­ful a driver, some­times it just doesn’t mat­ter be­cause moose seem to ap­pear out of nowhere.

There are also been many opin­ions on what should and shouldn’t be done to try and de­ter th­ese large crea­tures from hang­ing out on or around the prov­ince’s high­ways – any­thing from a lim­ited moose cull, fenc­ing, open ar­eas of hunt­ing along high­ways, mark­ing high­ways where ac­ci­dents occurred, whis­tles on ve­hi­cles, re­duced night time speed lim­its and more driver ed­u­ca­tion.

How­ever, the un­der­ly­ing is­sue with the var­ied and nu­mer­ous opin­ions ex­pressed on how to fix the prob­lem is peo­ple are for­get­ting the ‘KISS’ for­mula. Re­mem­ber, this is one? It states ‘Keep It Sim­ple Stupid’. Or, in other words, in­stead of try­ing to find ex­pen­sive or un­safe ways of re­duc­ing moose-ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents in the prov­ince, more of­ten than not, the best so­lu­tion is the sim­plest one.

In this case, the sim­plest so­lu­tion is for each and ev­ery driver to be taken to task on safe driv­ing pro­ce­dures. Moose travel mostly dur­ing the night, late evening or early morn­ing, there­fore, there is an in­creased chance of see­ing a moose along our high­ways dur­ing th­ese time pe­ri­ods.

If there’s an in­crease dur­ing th­ese times, shouldn’t we, as re­spon­si­ble driv­ers, re­duce our speed and be more alert to the pos­si­bil­ity of a moose be­ing in the road?

In April 2003, pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tion banned the use of cell phones while driv­ing, without the use of a hands-free de­vice. How­ever, there are many other dis­trac­tions present, such as chang­ing a CD, lo­cat­ing an­other ra­dio sta­tion or open­ing a bag of chips, that are just as dis­tract­ing to driv­ers, and takes their at­ten­tion away from the road.

Once again, the sim­plest an­swer to re­duc­ing moose-ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, or for that mat­ter any type of ac­ci­dent, still re­mains for driv­ers to pay at­ten­tion and ad­just their driv­ing habits ac­cord­ingly.

It may not elim­i­nate all of them, as ac­ci­dents of any sort, whether they are in the home or on the road, are bound to hap­pen.

Safe driv­ing to all, and un­til the moose know high­ways are for cars, keep your at­ten­tion on the road. – Kevin Hig­gins, Ed­i­tor-Man­ager

Gan­der Bea­con

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.