stop texting
The Co-operators General Insurance celebrated the grand opening of their new offices ( 96 College St. E. Belleville Ont) with a fun-filled car show Wednesday night (July 8th, 2015).

After being in business for 20 years in Belleville Ont. owner Brent Blatherwick decided they need a home they could call their own. The show was held in the parking lot of the Marantha Church, 100 College St. E. It was a celebration for Brent and his staff but also a reminder of the consequences of distracted driving.

Brent Blatherwick, Co-operators Insurance, 96 College St. E. Belleville Ont.
Brent Blatherwick, Co-operators Insurance, 96 College St. E. Belleville Ont.

Since mid-2014 Brent Blatherwick, the Co-operators General Insurance, 96 College St. E. Belleville Ont. have sponsored the Belleville Fire Department/Quinte EMS, STOP TEXTING truck display. A graphic remind of the consequence of distracted driving.

“It is not just texting that is the issue,” said Brent Blatherwick. “A cup of coffee, dogs on drivers laps, anything that can distract the driver from the task-at-hand is a problem.”

Distracted driving has become the #1 cause of motor vehicle accidents in Ontario, 40% of all accidents are attributed to distracted driving. The penalties for distracted driving have increased significantly recently: fines jump to between $300 to $1,000, from the current $60 to $500, 3 demerit points if convicted of a distracted driving offence, and distracted driving has been added to list of novice driver conditions.

The charity Bar-B-Q raised $400 for the Hastings and Prince Edward Food 4 learning program. 10,000 children in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board; the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board; Conseil des Ecoles Publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario; and the Quinte Mohawk School breakfast. Students receive a breakfast, healthy snack, or nutritious lunch daily through the program.

Thanks to Carson Cross and the Belleville Fire Department for the use of the Stop Texting Truck display and the Pump 4 Display.

Car lore is filled with stories of long forgotten treasures found in barns. Norm Adshead’s, Belleville Ont., 1964 Oldsmobile F85 is one. Found in a barn in Odessa Ont. the car had been originally parked to work on the brakes some 20 years earlier. With only 23,816 miles (38328 km) on the odometer and some rust damage to the roof, Norm saw a keeper.

The farmer that owned the car said he wanted to put his tractor in the barn and was offered $1000. The farmer asked his son if he wanted the car, and was promptly told no. The deal was struck and for another $100 it was loaded onto a trailer and brought to Belleville Ont. Since then the roof damage has been repaired; the brakes, new lifters and push rods, wires and a paint job have been done. The car was returned to the road in the spring of 2015.

(Editor’s note: Many of you are aware that I drive a school bus. As a professional driver I see inattentive drivers all the time. I can not stress how important it is that all drivers should do everything possible to minimize distractions inside their vehicles at all times and focus on the task-at-hand. TANX!)

story and photos by bill samuel