The other day we reported on a single vehicle accident on the North Fork Road near town. A car had slid off the icy road and rolled onto its roof in the ditch. Shortly afterwards this media release summarizing 2013 appeared in our inbox …
In 2013 the West Kootenay Traffic Services and West Kootenay Integrated Road Safety Unit had a very busy year. We unfortunately had nine fatalities in the area. Of these nine fatalities two were alcohol related and two were pedestrian fatalities. The other causal factors were speed, mechanical or distracted driving. Our condolences go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones.
Drinking and driving, seatbelt and distracted driving are leading factors in serious or fatal collisions.
This year 90 impaired drivers were taken of the road and 120 suspensions were issued in the West Kootenay Boundary area. The units served 1,430 seatbelt tickets and 325 distracted driving charges (cell phone). Drug possession seems to be on the rise with 500 drug seizures. Excessive speed charges which goes with a 7 day seizure of the vehicle is also on the rise with 63 seizures. The units served over 7,300 violation tickets.
The West Kootenay Traffic and IRSU units are striving to reduce crashes and injuries to our motoring public by enforcement and education in high crash areas. We urge all people to slow down, buckle up, stay off the cell phone and get a designated driver. The consequences of an impaired driving charge financially and emotionally on an individual are tremendous.
The West Kootenay Traffic and Integrated Road Safety Unit wish everyone a happy and safe 2014.
One thing I’ve come to realize living here in Grand Forks is that in the winter it’s a lot like the mythical Shangri La: The valley can be a little spot of sunshine and tee-shirt weather but getting in and out of it on the highway can be a visit back to winter and taking your life into your hands. Be careful out there and if you have to travel on the highways be aware, be awake and be safe.
Some of you have no choice but to drive the highway so to those I would advise think about the end result – you want to get there safe and sound. I will leave you with this thought: When I moved here in 2004 women could give birth here in Grand Forks. Now they have to travel to Trail or Nelson. In the winter that can be extra scary …
Just a note: mother and baby arrived just fine thanks to Dad (and the staff at the hospital in Nelson), She’s now a year old.
We are not alone in this hardship – those who live in Creston also face the same issue but instead of the Paulson they get to do the Salmo-Creston. In case you have forgotten that drive take a ride with me below (just don’t try this at this speed – I didn’t):