Free buses are more effective than impaired driving fines

Letter to the editor on tackling alcohol-related issues on the road

Re: Keep pressuring high-risk drivers (Our View, May 23)

The editorial states: “Keep penalties as a deterrent for impaired drivers.”  This suggests the CounterAttack program is working. ICBC evidence presents no such conclusion. Justice Minister Shirley Bond’s politically expedient report neglects to say that before the CounterAttack program there was already a 37-per-cent decline in alcohol-related fatalities between 2007 and 2009.

ICBC tells us why: “Many factors affect the safety of road travel and therefore influence trends in crashes, injuries and fatalities. Road safety cannot directly influence all aspects of crash frequency and severity (like weather, the economy, the cost of fuel, and kilometres driven),” according to ICBC’s 2011 Road Safety Business Plan.

In an economic depression, it is known that auto-related deaths decline. People are driving less.

Free bus service running frequently during peak inebriation times would be cheaper for society and nearly eliminate substance-related deaths. And the cops could get much more paid time-off to be with their families, instead of being forced to stand out in the cold. But maybe the Roman show of bravado is what we’re really after here.

Larry Wartel

Victoria