Alcohol, speed and distracted driving contributed to the majority of the deaths on West Kootenay highways in the last year, according to statistics just released by the West Kootenay Traffic Services.
In 2013 the West Kootenay Traffic Services and West Kootenay Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) had to handle nine fatalities in the area.
Of these nine fatalities two were alcohol related and two were pedestrian fatalities, said Cpl. John Ferguson of West Kootenay Traffic Services.
The other causal factors were speed, mechanical or distracted driving, he said in a press release.
“Our condolences go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones,” said Ferguson. “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, Ferguson noted.
As well, excessive speed charges—which go with a seven-day seizure of the vehicle—are also on the rise with 63 seizures.
In all, police 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,” Ferguson said.
“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.”