Driving with Jens: Survey says….

If you’re like me, you probably feel inundated with surveys. It seems like after every new product or service you purchase, you get a survey.

Sometimes they highlight the survey web address on your receipt and offer you the chance to win a prize. With so many opportunities to take surveys these days you likely suffer from what I call survey fatigue. Knowing this, I’m still going to ask you to please take another survey. It’s important.

To help improve traffic safety laws in the Yukon, the government is in the process of developing a new Motor Vehicles Act. The current Motor Vehicles Act was developed in 1977. Since that time, a lot has changed. Technology changes have added many driving distractions, like cell phones and other hand-held devices. Fines that where significant in 1977 may no longer be a deterrent.

To assist with this effort the Yukon government is seeking feedback from cities, road user groups, First Nation governments and other organizations that advocate for traffic safety laws.

It is also looking for feedback from individuals. This is your chance to voice your opinions on existing and proposed traffic safety laws. Your views may even help identify issues the government hasn’t even considered yet.

While the survey covers a number of different topics like driver licensing, fees and fines, rules around impaired driving, road user safety, vehicle safety and condition, enforcement technology and off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, you don’t have to answer all the questions. You can choose to just offer your input on the topics that interest you.

Depending on how much input you wish to offer, this survey will only take about 10 to 30 minutes.

The survey opened on April 2 and will be available until May 31. Once the survey closes, the feedback will be compiled into a report called What We Heard. It will give you and the government a sense of where the average person stands on a wide range of issues surrounding motor vehicle and road safety.

This is a great opportunity to voice your opinion on potential changes that could affect you personally.

For new drivers the survey asks about proposed changes to the Graduated Drivers License Program, including raising the age limit, the length of time you spend in each stage and whether there should be minimum amount of winter driving and night driving experience required.

For old drivers the survey asks about raising the medical requirement from age 70 to 75 and whether the medical should continue to be paid for by the government.

For bad drivers the survey asks about proposed increase in fines and suspensions, including possible life time suspensions for serious or repeat offenders. Bad drivers would include impaired drivers, distracted drivers, and drivers who fail to follow basic traffic rules.

For all drivers the survey asks about your thoughts on photo radar, red light cameras, limits on passengers to match available seat belts and whether pets should be secured.

The survey asks about whether there should be restrictions on things like lift kits, light bars and tinted windows. It goes on to ask whether vehicles registered in the Yukon for the first time should be required to have a safety inspection done. It also asks whether vehicles should be required to have regular safety inspections done and at what intervals.

For off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, the survey asks about potential changes to proper use, registration and insurance requirements, helmets and age restrictions.

This is just the Reader’s Digest version of the survey and its questions, but you can see that there is a little something for everyone in it. There is a very strong likelihood that many of the proposed changes to the Yukon Motor Vehicles Act would affect you, so why wouldn’t you take the time to add your input?

You can find the survey at engageyukon.ca or you can find a link to the survey on my Facebook page Driving with Jens. It’s also being strongly promoted on social media by highlighting different sections of the survey that may be hot buttons for people.

There are also several open houses scheduled in communities around the Yukon. At these events you can learn more about the Motor Vehicles Act and meet likeminded others who are also interested in improving road safety. If you’re up for some boring reading you could also find the current Yukon Motor Vehicles Act at gov.yk.ca/legislation.

So yes, we get inundated with surveys, but I really think this one is important to participate in. As the old saying goes: If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

Catch Driving, with Jens on CHON FM Thursdays at 8:15. If you have any questions or comments you can reach out to Jens Nielsen at drivingwithjens@gmail.com, Facebook or Twitter: @drivingwithjens.

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