KEEP STREETS — AND YOURSELF — SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Drinking and driving is always a concern at holiday time, but cannabis use should also be regarded as a serious issue
This is a special time of year for many people, as holiday festivities occur involving family, friends and co-workers — and many of us will be enjoying the spirit of the season.
However, if your activities may involve drinking or consuming cannabis, plan ahead for a safe ride home. Arrange a designated driver, call a taxi or friend, or take transit — but do not get behind the wheel.
Sadly, each year in British Columbia, 65 people die in crashes involving impaired driving. Almost half of those deaths happen during the summer.
However, other deaths happen during what should be joyous celebrations during the winter holidays.
According to ICBC, an average of 340 people are injured in 1,200 crashes in B.C. each year between Dec. 24-26 alone.
For those who may believe this cautionary message only applies to those indulging in alcohol, think twice.
Transport Canada reports the percentage of Canadian drivers killed in vehicle crashes who tested positive for drugs (40 per cent) now actually exceeds the numbers who test positive for alcohol (33 per cent) — and impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada.
If you crash while driving impaired, you’re likely in breach of your insurance policy. That means you could be personally responsible for 100 per cent of the costs if you damage someone else’s property or injure them.
When you drink or consume cannabis and then choose to get behind the wheel you risk not only your own life but those of others on the road. With so many options to get home safely, there is no excuse to drive while impaired.
And a final caution to all drivers: Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Put down your cellphone or any other device that may take your attention away from the road. When you are behind the wheel, focus on the road.
Allow everyone to enjoy the holiday season — because the alternative is simply not worth it.
Police officers will check drivers on B.C.’s roads during the holiday season.