‘It is a total waste of life’: Police crack down on high-risk drivers

In a hurry and driving too fast? Can’t put the phone down?

RCMP across Metro Vancouver have been busting high-risk drivers, including speeders who had advance warning to slow down, but didn’t.

“We’ve pulled over a lot of people for unsafe speed. We’re particularly targeting high-risk driving behavior, which includes speed, unsafe lane changes, people talking on their cellular phones,” said Surrey RCMP Sgt. Brian Nanton.

It’s part of a campaign called “Operation Swoop.”

On Tuesday, police focused their efforts on Highway 10 through Langley, Surrey and Delta.

Volunteers monitored speed boards ahead of speed traps.

But many of those going too fast, still didn’t take their foot off the pedal.

“Others as they go are thinking ‘Oh, they didn’t wave me over, therefore I’m safe,’” said Surrey volunteer Bruce Coombs.

A retired Mountie, Coombs said he’s seen too many lives lost due to speed throughout the course of his career.

“It is a total waste of life,” he said.

And it’s something, that still troubles him years after he left the force.

“Only once in there did I have to show up to somebody’s home and tell them a family member’s not coming home. Even today, I start to feel the sadness, I’m almost tearing up,” said Coombs.

“There are no excuses for speeding. You’re putting your life at risk and other peoples lives at risk,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Vanessa Munn.

“The goal today is for us to be highly visible in the community and take enforcement actions to target people that are conducting high-risk driving behavior such as speeding,” she said.

ICBC said that on average, there are more than 860 crashes a day in BC, most of them caused by distracted driving and speeding.

“Twenty-seven people are killed…due to speed in the Lower Mainland every year,” said Joanne Bergman, an ICBC road safety coordinator.

She warned that the roads will get busier as we head into summer.

“We start to travel out of town. We have families that are taking children to sports camps and day camps,” she explained.

Police said many people pulled over for speeding were rushing because they were late getting somewhere.

“They’re trying to get to work, they’re trying to get to an engagement of some sort, so they have that mentality that they’re under pressure,” said Nanton.

“They’re trying to beat the clock and they basically exhibit high-risk driving behavior as a result of that,” he added.

Motorists are being reminded to slow down and leave themselves with extra time to get to their destination.

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