Hergott: Changing driver behaviour will change driving attitude

A Quebec policeman was killed while on duty last Saturday by a passing motorist.

Donovan Lagrange, a nine-year veteran of the Quebec provincial police force, was killed while on duty last Saturday.

It wasn’t a gun fight.  He was walking back to his patrol car after pulling over two speeders. He was killed by a passing motorist.

Two weeks ago I poked fun at my wife for driving while low on fuel.

My point had been that it is negligent to run out of gas, noting that “a stopped vehicle on a roadway presents a hazard.”

Emergency vehicles reduce the hazard by activating their emergency lights.

There is an added hazard, though. You can count on emergency personnel being in the vicinity.

It’s reasonable to expect the possibility of people in the vicinity of any stopped vehicle, not just emergency vehicles;  the flashing lights just add certainty to the prospect.

By keeping your tank filled with gas, you can avoid running out and creating a needless hazard.  Emergency vehicles and tow trucks are unavoidable.  The onus falls on passing motorists to eliminate needless injuries and deaths.

Now I wonder.  What could a passing motorist do to eliminate a casualty when passing a stopped emergency vehicle?

Let’s say you’re driving through Kelowna.  It’s a 60 km/hour zone so you’re going about 65.

There’s a patrol car stopped ahead of you in the HOV lane. You’re in the next lane over.

What might you do to minimize risk?

How about slow down, or if it’s safe to do so, merge into the lane closest to the centre line so that there is an empty lane between your vehicle and the patrol car as you pass?

Many drivers would do that as a matter of course. It’s the clear and obviously safe thing to do.

It wouldn’t matter if it was an emergency vehicle or a stalled Ford (sorry, Mark).

Others are missing a certain part of their brain.

What do we need to do to encourage those with the brain deficiency to stop putting our emergency services personnel at risk?

Wouldn’t you know, there’s a law. A “slow down, move over” regulation became law on June 1, 2009.

It requires motorists to do that clear and obviously safe thing.  Failure to do so is punishable by a $148 fine and three points.

Did you know about the law?  Do you think those with that part missing from their brains know about the law?  What good is a law if nobody knows about it?

Even if everyone knew about it, would risk of a $148 fine change driving behaviours?

In my view, the only sure way to change driving behaviours is to change driving attitudes.

Just Posted

Vancouver artist rocks to fight opioid crisis

Jeremy Allingham is set to bring his guitar-focused rock ‘n roll to Kelowna April 6, Vernon June 9

World Down Syndrome Day: The up side of Down

A Kelowna family’s journey with Down Syndrome: ‘There is tremendous beauty in these kids’

Kelowna cops crack down on drivers using cell phones

Drivers caught talking or texting behind the wheel now face a fine totalling $543

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

West Kelowna mayor meets finance minister to protest speculation tax

Doug Findlater presents Carole James with booklet of info outlining tax’s impact on his city

Crook’s Corner

Arts and entertainment highlights this week across the Okanagan

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Rockets’ Foote a finalist for top WHL D-man

Cal Foote named the Western Conference top defenseman; Foote and Dube named all-stars

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Shots fired in Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP are investigating a report of shots fired and a possible explosion at a trailer court

Most Read