There are few things more terrifying on the road than the sight of a car coming at you in your lane. You’re often trapped, forced either to stop or veer off to avoid a collision. Other drivers can be as scared as you, and no one knows what move to make.
Now, imagine a person driving that way for 18 km. It happened recently in Halifax.
A 24-year-old woman entered Highway 102 driving in the wrong direction, struck a car, and kept on going, hit another car, and finally ended up in a ditch.
The cause appears to be impairment. While there are cases of non-impaired persons driving in the the wrong direction – particularly elderly ones – those drivers rarely persist for 18 kilometres. Such determination gives the driver chance after chance of causing a serious or even fatal crash. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt this time.
The driver refused a breath test, an action which in Nova Scotia incurs the same penalties as drunk driving (driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or over).
In Nova Scotia, a disaster averted – by pure chance. Apart from imprisonment, the only way that a repeat of this incident can be prevented is by the installation of an ignition interlock on the offender’s vehicle. For this reason, all provinces should mandate the devices for all drunk driving offenses.
If people are driving in the wrong direction, then drunk driving laws should be going in the right one.