Crashes are not inevitable, says Kelowna lawyer

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims was held in Kelowna on Wednesday

Vehicle crashes are not inevitable accidents that we can’t do anything about.

This is the message lawyer Paul Hergott was sending out to the crowd and to anyone on the road during the seventh-annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims in Kelowna.

Back in 2005, the UN General Assembly adopted the World Day as ‘the appropriate acknowledgement for victims of road traffic crashes and their families’.

RELATED: Remember road crash victims this November

Hergott has since recognized the day in Kelowna to remember those killed or seriously injured on Canadian roads.

“All we need to do to reduce crashes is to recognize that if we focus our direct attention on the road ahead of us, we are not going to crash,” said Hergott.

A man who believes crashes are anything but inevitable, but certainly avoidable, is Hidedki Mimura who lost his daughter to a collision on the Coquihalla in April of 2017.

Melissa Mimura was an international student who was about to graduate from university when she was hit by a truck while exiting her broke-down vehicle on Highway 5.

Now, for the last two years her father has traveled to Canada, from Japan, for just one day to be apart of this event.

“It’s too late for us but we don’t want to waste Melissa’s painful experience. So, we want to prevent anymore tragedies,” he said. “You need to reduce the speed limit to below 50 km/hr (on the Coquihalla) whatever the speed is that you can control your vehicle because all the vehicles are responsible (for driving) according to the weather.”

Ironically, Mimura once helped grieving families in Japan who lost loved ones to car crashes, when Melissa was a child. Years later the Mimuras are now one of these bereaved families, which is why Mirmura has brought Hergott’s One Crash Too Many platform to Japan.

“I wanted to prevent tragedy (back then) and we succeeded in changing the Japanese traffic laws and reduced the number of deaths in half,” he explained. “If the British Columbia government changed the traffic laws to be more strict it is possible to reduce crashes.”

And, according to Hergott, there is also another way to reduce road crashes.

One, is to leave the phone alone including hands-free cellphone use, as Hergott believes it contributes to driver inattention.

RELATED: Hergott: Ban all cell phone use while driving

The other is to ensure driver’s brains are focused on the road at all times.

“The mechanism that I came up with is called doing the ten-and-two and its essentially putting your hands on the steering wheel and when your mind starts to wander, that isn’t very comfortable, and your hand will move to your lap or somewhere else and that triggers you’re not paying attention.

Doing the ten-and-two or the nine-and-three is a mechanism everyone can use to keep your brain focused,” explained Hergott.

Police, paramedics and firefighters were in attendance at the vigil held in the Orchard Park Mall parking lot, on Wednesday evening.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Invasive mussel monitoring stations detect 10 boats

Boats were headed to Okanagan and Thompson regions

Man who drove into music festival crowd sentenced to 14 months in jail

Several people seriously hurt during event held near Princeton

Elderly man who offered candy to Penticton children, doesn’t pose threat: RCMP

The man was reportedly seen at the Columbus Park Property attempting to lure children with candy

COVID-19 outbreak at Okanagan Correctional Centre, involves 3 staff

Three staff involved in possible exposure, health officials say

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation on racism

Incidents in July prompt calls for dialogue

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Vandals put Vernon public piano out of play

Downtown instrument destroyed, but public project is not over

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Salmon Arm’s first Bitcoin ATM installed in mall

The kiosk will allow people to buy cryptocurrency or sell it for cash.

Westside wildfire human caused

Blaze started as a house fire and spread to the bush

Summerland working to reopen recreation facilities

Arena and pool are opening, but ball season will not proceed

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Most Read