Letter writer Ian Syme reminds local drivers to be more cautious during the holiday season. (Pixaby photo)

LETTER: Nightmare experience navigating Abbotsford’s roads

One-hour drive around town revealed just how bad some drivers behave

Editor:

I wish to detail the experience I had over the course of one hour of driving on Abbotsford city roads.

I left my home at approximately 2 p.m. At the intersection of Clearbrook and Peardonville, I had to move my car forward to avoid being rear ended by a woman distracted while lighting a cigarette and adjusting her hair in her rear view mirror. I could clearly see her in my mirror and it was apparent she had no awareness of other drivers and vehicles around her. Your readers may recall that a pedestrian was struck and killed at this intersection mere weeks before.

Ten minutes later at the intersection of South Fraser and Bevan, I was nearly sideswiped by a flat deck tow truck, who blew through a stop sign exiting the mall parking lot, crossed two lanes of traffic, nearly hitting multiple drivers. I contacted the owner of the tow truck company, who stated the driver was under pressure to get to his next call. A poor excuse, considering the carnage the tow truck driver narrowly missed.

Twenty minutes following that, at the intersection of Ware and South Fraser, I witnessed an elderly gentleman in a small compact car rear ended and essentially pushed through the intersection by the driver of a large four-wheel-drive pick up. The driver of the pick up appeared to have no concern that the driver of the smaller vehicle was in front of her. It was as if she was determined to drive through or over the driver in front her, in order to make her left hand turn at the intersection.

Prior to my retirement, I worked as a paramedic and emergency room nurse. I’ve seen the outcome of aggressive, inattentive and distracted driving. People die, are maimed and often have their lives permanently altered due to these actions. This is not the fault of policing or law. The responsibility lies solely on drivers who refuse to obey traffic laws, remain aware of surroundings behind the wheel and respect the safety of other drivers.

With this being the holiday season, I hope drivers will heed my message. With less hours of daylight, wet slippery roads and the stress of driving on our already overburdened roadways, drivers need to be more alert and attentive. I fear nothing but misery and heartbreak if drivers don’t reform.

Ian Syme

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