I’m not one to resort to vigilante justice — but when it comes to idiot drivers on our highways, I’m prepared to make an exception.
Especially when their reckless, ridiculous and usually unnecessary actions threaten my family.
After several such incidents yesterday during a routine drive from Kelowna to Osoyoos — following an almost disastrous event while we were recently visiting PEI — I’ve decided to install a dashcam.
It would have allowed me yesterday to record:
- the “N” driver who obliviously ran a red light and narrowly missed two vehicles in a Kelowna intersection;
- the high-tech sports car north of Okanagan Falls driven by someone who obviously thinks double solid lines on a windy road are an invitation to play chicken with oncoming traffic; and,
- the local real estate professional — yes, her company’s branding was clearly visible in the rearview window — who came tauntingly close to never again hosting an open house after passing on a double-solid north of Oliver and forcing another vehicle to brake considerably to provide her with just enough room to get back on the proper side of the road before becoming a hood ornament for of an oncoming pickup.
There were 42,000 reported automobile accidents — crashes — in BC’s Southern Interior in 2015, according to a January 2017 report from ICBC.
That’s 115 crashes every day — or almost five accidents every hour.
Those accidents resulted in 6,400 injuries and 90 deaths.
The numbers are staggering; accidents, though, have become so commonplace they are now a routine occurrence and largely we pay them little attention. Each traumatic incident has become nothing more than a few lines of print giving the ages and hometown of a victim or two and a caution to be more careful out there.
The reality is a little different.
Take a moment to watch just a few minutes of crash video compilation and you’ll see what I mean. A word of warning: some of the visuals and language are intense.
All my wife and I could do yesterday was quietly shudder and shake our heads. We had no illusions about reporting the reckless behaviour we witnessed to police.
But finding a way to publicly share recorded episodes of dangerous driving in the South Okanagan so that those closer to the driver might be able to provide some correctional encouragement? Well, that’s something I can get behind.
Those of you who took a moment to watch the crash video compilation will note much of the carnage comes from halfway around the world. I suspect there’s just as much lunacy in our little corner of the world.
I can’t do much about what occurs in Russia, Thailand or even elsewhere in North America. But I can do something about the reckless, self-indulged, and otherwise dangerous drivers in the South Okanagan.
With a summer season almost upon us — and the near-lethal mix of slow-moving campers, overloaded trucks and impatient tourists soon to be an everyday reality — I’m sure there will be plenty of bad driving behaviour to showcase.
And I plan to do just that. It starts with the purchase of a dashcam, but more will follow.
— Andrew Stuckey