We don’t have a good opinion of ourselves

A recent poll by Insights West found that 50 per cent of Canadians feel that drivers in their city or town are worse than five years ago.

A recent poll by Insights West found that 50 per cent of Canadians feel that drivers in their city or town are worse than they were five years ago. The two top groups of bad drivers identified by three of every five of us were youth and seniors.

To top it off, most of us have witnessed dangerous and illegal behaviour on our roads in the past month. Wow! Time to have a look at ourselves in the rear view mirror.

British Columbians rated the worst in the country for three of five common driving errors: not stopping at an intersection when required, turning from an incorrect lane and having to brake suddenly or steer out of the way to avoid a collision.

Those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba don’t signal turns and Albertans tend to take more than one parking space for a single vehicle. It’s sad that we come out on top of the most dangerous errors in the list.

We’re pretty much the same across the age and gender spectrum when it comes to pointing the finger at other drivers too. Forty-eight per cent of women and 52 per cent of men divided across the age groups of 18 to 34 (46 per cent), 35 to 54 (48 per cent) and 55 plus (56 per cent) think that driving behaviour is worse today.

It would be very interesting to see a follow-up poll asking what we would be willing to do to take personal ownership of the issue and contribute to the solution.

B.C.’s road safety strategy of Moving to Vision Zero is now encouraging a safe systems model. One facet of the suggested solution is a speed limit of 30 km/h in residential areas and the implementation of automated enforcement to hold drivers accountable to all speed limits.

What do you think about that?