Stop using the ‘A word’

Re: Olsen Case draws attention, Jan. 4. Thanks, Jeff Hanson, for your letter. I agree with much of it and would like to add a few thoughts.

Re: Olsen Case draws attention, Jan. 4.

Thanks, Jeff Hanson, for your letter. I agree with much of it and would like to add a few thoughts.

You say: “There is no such thing as happenstance or accidents.” I know that any collision reconstruction specialist will tell us that 99 per cent of all cases they deal with are preventable.

Ultimately, responsibility for all problems on our roadways belongs to the people in the system, not the vehicles or the environment. However, the Alberta Motor Association and, I believe, traffic safety personnel everywhere associate accidents with words like “unpredictable and unpreventable” or “acts of God or nature” or “fate.”

I think we (peace officers, media, driver educators, public) all need to be accurate in our choice of words and be careful not to perpetuate the use of phrases such as “alcohol-related accidents” and “accident prevented.” The AMA does not use the “A word” and police organizations use the term “collision report.” After all, we are what we think and we unconsciously say what we think.

Since people and systems are imperfect, we all need to expect the unexpected when driving and to do that we need to focus all our attention on the task at hand. Distractions, inattention and carelessness are primary issues with problems in the system.

For example, the AMA teaches that before entering an intersection, it is the responsibility of the driver to check left, centre, right, left and proceed only when absolutely safe. No traffic control device guarantees our safety.

I urge all users of our roadways to be proactive and adopt the attitude that “safety is a way of life and we’re all responsible for each other” so that our communities become even better places to live.

Kieran Lang

Red Deer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer team punches ticket to 2020 Cheerleading World Championships

A Red Deer cheer team is hoping to become the best in… Continue reading

Ponoka RCMP bust yields crystal meth and brass knuckles

Two men and two women facing drug trafficking charges

UPDATED: Westerner Park faces financial challenges

City of Red Deer assumes temporary financial oversight

Westerner Park asks City of Red Deer for financial help

Westerner Park says it needs city financial support

Country music fans enjoy free concert at Red Deer mall, ahead of ACMA awards

Fans like to get up close and personal and that’s exactly what… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

David Marsden: Let’s see success at Westerner Park

It’s encouraging that Westerner Park has admitted it needs the support of… Continue reading

Virus in China affects sports events, Olympic qualifiers

GENEVA — Amid growing concern at the spread of a new virus… Continue reading

Ottawa 67’s boss Andre Tourigny gets call to coach Canada’s junior team

CALGARY — After serving as an assistant coach this year for Canada’s… Continue reading

Juno Awards nominees to be unveiled for music’s big night in Saskatoon

TORONTO — The 2020 Juno Awards nominees are set to be revealed… Continue reading

Harvey Weinstein NYC sex assault trial picks up pace

NEW YORK — The closely watched #Metoo era rape trial of Harvey… Continue reading

Calgary sport school that grooms Olympic champions threatened with shutdown

CALGARY — The National Sport School in Calgary that produces Olympic and… Continue reading

Quebec to seek consensus on offering medical aid in dying to mentally ill

MONTREAL — Quebec on Monday walked back a plan to offer medical… Continue reading

Most Read