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POULSEN: About those distracted driving statistics...

March 19, 2015 - 10:05 AM

ICBC has a campaign on this month for the RCMP to target distracted drivers. They are even enlisting all the usual citizen do-gooders to peer through windshields.

ICBC focuses on the misuse of mobile devices in its campaign promotions and backs up the enormity of the problem by stating that 88 people are killed yearly in B.C. by “distracted” driving.

But ICBC doesn’t say how many fatalities are strictly the result of hand held mobiles because they don’t even keep that stat. They simply don’t know. (Yes, in fact, you are probably reading it here first).

An ICBC spokesperson says “distracted driving” is the only box that gets checked after an accident and it’s defined by far more than talking or texting.

Motor vehicle department examples of distracted driving include reading a map, putting on makeup (stop it, guys), eating, talking with passengers, refereeing the battle between two kids in the back seat, doing battle with one dog in the back seat (OK, that one’s mine), visual distractions like police activity or looking at signs or billboards. Drinking coffee too. If police really want to stop distracted driving, they might set up roadblocks at the Tim’s drive thru. No, no. Just kidding. Don’t do that!!

Hands on cell phone use while driving is dangerous. Common sense says so.

That doesn’t excuse ICBC from using misleading information such as 88 deaths to pump up its new make-work project, at $169 a ticket.

Just tell us the truth, Pinocchio.


There is an electronic sign above the highway between Lake Country and Vernon. It says, in two parts: Focus on the Road. Leave the Phone Alone.

I pulled over and timed myself reading it at a normal speed: 3-4 seconds. At the posted speed limit, I would easily travel the length of a football field with my eyes on the sign and not the road.

Pinocchio, you do have a wooden head.


A men’s group has unveiled a billboard in Toronto to raise awareness of domestic abuse against men.

Reads the billboard:  “HALF of domestic violence victims are men. NO domestic violence shelters are dedicated to us.”

It’s paid for by the Canadian Association for Equality.

Good for you, guys, although you might come up with a name for your association that says what you really mean, like: End the Yelling, Biting, Kicking and Throwing of Hard Objects like a 95 mile-per-hour Fastball.

The billboard comes after Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released a $41-million plan to combat sexual violence against women.

It accuses Wynne of forgetting “half the victims of violence.”

Women’s groups (all of whom represent very few women, by the way) have already started their shock and outrage over the billboard.

Said Penny Krowitz, director of Act to End Violence Against Women:

“If service providers were finding that there was such a need for men’s shelters, there would be men’s shelters. If we had enough men coming forward saying, ‘I need shelter from this abusive woman,’ do you not think that we would have provided those services to men?”

Actually, no I don’t, Ms. Krowitz.

Here is what you’re missing: Men seldom complain about being assaulted by their significant others. Says Psychiatrist David Fontes in the article, Men Don’t Tell:

“When a man is a victim of his wife’s physical abuse he is... shamed by the assaults of his wife. Men are considered ‘wimps’ for letting their wives beat them or for complaining about their wives’ attacks.

“It’s no wonder few men report their abuse or discuss it openly.”

In backing up its billboard claim, CAFE cites a 2009 Statistics Canada survey that found an estimated 601,000 Canadian women and 585,000 men experienced spousal violence; not sure I believe that any more than Ms. Krowitz, however experience tells us that men are more physically abusive than women.

Here are the more common types of verbal abuse from women, as reported from several sites:

The man has a meaningless job, he’d break his thumb trying to drive a nail, no one likes him, and (the coup de grace), he doesn’t measure up.

Neither men nor women have exclusive rights to being mean and nasty, or violent.

But women have plenty of support and men have almost none, except now they could go to:

— Chuck Poulsen started reporting well back in the last century for The Province newspaper in Vancouver, covering assignments from the Canucks to murder trials and even more suspicious characters in the Legislature. He worked for himself in advertising before spending 15 years with The Daily Courier in Kelowna and a couple of news websites, one of which he helped send to its grave.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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