bad drivers

Houston drivers generally doing fine

And are respectful of others

There’s more traffic in Houston and area nowadays but the Houston RCMP detachment is finding drivers generally respectful of others when out and about.

“Yes, there is more traffic, more industrial traffic, but we have not had a lot of people complaining about people not obeying the rules of the road,” says detachment commanding officer Sergeant Mark Smaill.

“We’re finding that people are giving each other plenty of room.”

Some of the increased traffic stems from Coastal GasLink pipeline construction activity as well as the mainstay forest industry.

“Logging is going very strong right now,” said Smaill.

While some of the pipeline-related traffic may be in larger and heavier vehicles, a good portion comes in the form of lighter pickup trucks.

Smaill’s comments come as the RCMP’s highway patrol’s emphasis on traffic safety during September winds down.

The detachment does not have an attached highway patrol section but does cooperate with highway patrol officers who regularly patrol the area.

And the detachment’s general duty officers during the course of their regular duties will keep their eyes open for drivers using cellphones and for drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts.

September, along with March, are two months each year in which police emphasize the need to avoid becoming distracted while driving and to wear seatbelts.

“According to provincial data, distracted driving is responsible for more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities and is the second leading cause of fatal collisions in BC,” a statement from the provincial highway patrol indicates.

“Every year, an average of 76 people die in fatal motor vehicle collisions in BC because the driver was distracted or not paying attention.”

And while many drivers may think cellphone use is a major contributor to distracted driving, activities extend to personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, insecure pets, other passengers and not knowing your route.

The fines for distracted driving start at $368 and 4 penalty points, plus a driver risk premium assessed by ICBC.

In addition, vehicle insurance costs may be affected and too many points assessed against one’s licence may result in a prohibition from driving, police warn.

Complying with seatbelt requirements is generally quite high in B.C. but, on average, 50 people are killed every year in collisions that may have been survivable had restraints been worn, police add.

“Occupant restraints refers to all occupants of your vehicle, including children who are required to be secured in approved infant or child seats, appropriate to age and height,” the provincial highway patrol statement continued

“Police recommend that you always buckle up even if you are going short distances – seatbelts and airbags work together to protect you and the occupants of your car.”

The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167.