Makeshift memorial helps illustrate drive safe campaign

Stuart Park offered a somber, albeit curious,  scene to passersby Wednesday afternoon.

Around 500 pairs of shoes were meticulously lined up in the square as a makeshift memorial for those who are killed in needless traffic accidents each year.

“Imagine a display 1,500 hundreds time this large,” said ICBC representative Christine Silver.

“There are 27,900 people injured in B.C. each year and it would take 3.5 acres, or nine hockey rinks, to hold all those shoes.

“That illustrates how important it is for each of us to do what we can to keep our roads safer.”

Const. Steve Holmes pointed out that the scene was particularly poignant to those who are on the front lines of traffic enforcement.

“Each pair of shoes represents a life,” he said. “But it would be more poignant to show faces.”

Each day they see “pain, fear and agony” on the faces of those who are needlessly injured.

“Some of the faces are small ones, of children,” he said. “And some of them haunt us.”

Jill Blacklock, ICBC’s road safety program delivery manager said that the insurance corporation is making a push to get more drivers keyed into taking a safer course of action this month.

A driver’s action is a contributing factor in 63 per cent of all police-attended crashes involving injuries and fatalities in the Southern Interior.

“That’s why, during the month of May, police are stepping up enforcement across B.C. targeting high-risk driving behaviours including speeding, failing to yield, following too closely, ignoring a traffic control device and improper passing,” she said.

“We want people to commit to smarter driving decisions.”


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