A Cranbrook resident is sounding the call against distracted driving and the threat it poses to public safety on local streets and highways.
Brian Kostiuk has had enough of close calls caused by drivers on their phones, and has had bumper stickers printed up which he hopes to see placed on government vehicles at all levels.
“I’ve had my life threatened three times in the last two years by distracted drivers,” Kostiuk said. “One guy, with his daughter in the car, blasted through a stop sign in front me. Out at Fort Steele, just before the bridge, a driver swerved into the oncoming lane [and out again]. And on Cobham Avenue, a pick-up veered into the oncoming lane — he managed to correct himself just in time.”
Using your phone to text or talk is illegal — including while stopped at red lights. But Kostiuk says the problem is on the rise.
“It’s so prevalent. Statistics show that one third of traffic deaths in Canada are attributable to distracted driving. The public is just not getting it.”
Kostiuk has talked to police about the issue.
“It’s difficult to prove [when a driver is stopped for distracted driving]. They just throw their phone on to the seat beside them.”
Wolfpack Signs and Printing has run off a bunch of bumper stickers for Kostiuk, which invite drivers to consider whether they’re distracted, and show a motorist raging beside a wrecked car. Kostiuk says if anyone wants to get one of these stickers, Wolfpack can put one on your vehicle for five dollars.
And in the meantime, Kostiuk will be approaching the City of Cranbrook and all other levels of government, to ask them to put the sticker on their fleets.
“ICBC should get on it,” he added. “The penalty should be the same as drunk driving.”