Pledge Your Commitment to Motorcycle Safety

“Motorcycling is a passion,” explains Dave Millier, MCC Chair. “It’s a sport, a hobby, an efficient means of transportation, and an important economic industry in Canada. Our vision is for all motorcyclists to be able to safely experience the sheer joy and sense of freedom that only motorcycling can offer.”

Here in Canada we are fortunate to have beautiful scenery, great trails, and fantastic travel destinations. The unfortunate fact is that motorcycle fatalities are increasing, and it continues to be higher risk for vulnerable road users – including motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians – to share the roads with cars and trucks.

“Motorcycle safety needs to be a greater priority across Canada and our road culture needs to change,” says Millier. “A growing number of drivers have a sense of entitlement on the roads and operate with a ‘me first’ attitude. We want to remind drivers that safety and common courtesy on the roads is the responsibility of all road users.”

Motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility

In 2017 MCC launched the Motorcycle Safety Pledge to encourage motorcyclists, drivers, riders and loved ones to recognize that everyone plays an important role in motorcycle safety. The Pledge became an immediate success with both riders and non-riders. It gave people a way to participate and share their support for an important cause. This year MCC is encouraging even more people to take the Motorcycle Safety Pledge because even if you do not ride a motorcycle, chances are you know someone that does.

The Motorcycle Safety Pledge is a promise you make to yourself, friends, and loved ones to help support motorcycle safety. It includes simple things you can do to help promote safety among all road and trail users across Canada.

We all know that driving requires our full attention. We ask that all motorists commit to fully participating in driving, and to put away the distractions, because the consequences of distracted driving are potentially deadly for everyone sharing our roads.

We encourage motorcyclists to wear full protective riding gear every time they get on their motorcycle. Be visible and fully prepared for the responsibility of riding, so you can make arriving alive your greatest priority.

Today our roads present a danger due to distracted drivers. Technology and entertainment is too easily within reach. We’re prepared to start a dialogue on road safety and the role each of us play in being responsible road users. Are you?

Take the Motorcycle Safety Pledge

Join the many Canadians that support motorcycle safety by taking the Motorcycle Safety Pledge. Visit motorcycling.cafor all the details, and tell us why you’re taking the #MotorcycleSafetyPledge on motorcycling.caFacebookTwitter or Instagram.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a public awareness campaign that began as a grassroots movement in the Ottawa valley in 2013. Since then it has evolved into a national initiative to promote motorcycle safety among all road users across Canada. In 2017 MP David Sweet officially declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in the House of Commons.

About the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC)
The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) is the voice of motorcycling in Canada. Our purpose is to create a better riding experience for all Canadians, and to make Canada one of the safest countries in the world to ride a motorcycle.

MCC is the national not-for-profit advocacy organization for the promotion of motorcycling interests.

Motorcycling is a vital part of our Canadian experience and an important form of transportation and recreation. Motorcycles take us where we need to go. We ride for the sheer joy and sense of freedom motorcycling offers. Today, there are close to one million motorcyclists riding on and off-road motorcycles across Canada.

motorcycling.ca

About Motorcycling in Canada

Recreational motorcycling has a significant impact on the Canadian economy.

A major socio-economic study of motorcycling in Canada found direct and indirect expenditures on recreational motorcycling were $2.68 billion in 2014. Here are some other facts about the impact of motorcycling, and the contributions made by motorcyclists:

  • There are 708,700 people participating in recreational motorcycling in Canada.
  • $332 million a year goes to Canada’s three levels of government in the form of taxes to support valuable public services including the building of roads, health care and education.
    • $118 million federal
    • $167 million provincial
    • $47 million municipal
  • Based on the widely accepted Regional Economic Model Inc. (REMI) methodology it is estimated that recreational motorcycling will meet or exceed $4 billion annually between 2020 and 2040.
  • At least 17,500 Canadians are currently employed in motorcycling-dependent jobs with the number expected to increase to between 20,000 and 23,100 between 2020 and 2040.
  • From a purchasing power perspective, motorcycling families typically have higher than average household incomes.
  • Recreational motorcyclists raised and donated $13.2 million in charitable donations in 2014.

Read the Recreational Motorcycling in Canada Summary Report and the full Recreational Motorcycling in Canadaand its Provinces – 2014-2040 Report and access the accompanying Infographics that feature national and provincial highlights for both on-road and off-road motorcycling.

SOURCE Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC)

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5 easy ways to improve customer service over the phone

5 easy ways to improve customer service over the phone

Kat Tancock | Canadian Business

“Bad customer service ruins your brand,” says communications expert Elaine Allison. “Everyone knows that customers will tell more people when they’ve had a bad experience, whereas they will forgive a business if it tries.” Here, the customer service guru shares her tips for optimal communication over the phone.

1. Be courteous

Basic manners are the foundation of good customer service. This includes answering the phone with the company’s and staff member’s name, and utilizing polite language: please, thank you, and have a good evening. Tone is especially important over the phone, when you can’t rely on body language. Callers should feel that they’re being listened to, and that the person they’re talking to cares. Always end calls by asking if there is anything else the customer needs.

2. Be prompt

Answer the phone and respond to voicemails quickly. “The customer typically expects calls to be answered within three rings and a 24-hour maximum response time with voicemail,” says Allison.

3. Be clear

Ensure voicemail messages are easy to understand and include an introduction, any information you might need from the caller and when someone will return their call. End the message by directing them to the company website and informing them of any further relevant information (such as restricted hours during holidays.)

4. Be calm

If a customer is angry, it’s hard not to respond in kind—but expert customer service representatives know how to put on a shield and let people vent, Allison says. One tactic she suggests is the “broken record” technique: staff should repeat what they will do for the caller and, wherever possible, offer options.

5. Be helpful

“Experts tell the caller what they can or will do, never what they can’t,” says Allison. Train staff to find results for customers, even if it means taking a message, looking up information online and calling them back. “It’s about problem-solving,” she adds. “Those who know these skills and get results keep their customers.” 

Elaine Allison, CSP

CSP,Certified Speaking Professional, Customer Service Expert, Keynote Speaker,Training Consultant, Author

 

Also, learn more here: Leadership and Workplace Management Courses from Dynamic Leadership Inc.

Stop Signs & Red Lights, Honk, Honk, Honk!

“I almost lost my life at West Fourth and Blenheim in Vancouver this morning” reported a DriveSmartBC Twitter follower. “I was turning left. The traffic lights were red for the traffic on Fourth. I stopped for the stop sign on Blenheim, then moved into the intersection to make my turn. The vehicle approaching me from the opposite direction was speeding and didn’t even slow down for the stop sign. She went straight through!”

The first thought that I had was to wonder whether this woman missed seeing the stop sign or whether she was taking advantage of the red traffic light on the cross street to deliberately disobey her duty to stop.

It does not matter where you encounter a stop sign, the law requires a complete cessation of your vehicle’s (or cycle’s) movement at the proper place. Once you have stopped and yielded the right of way to other road users as the rules dictate, only then are you allowed to proceed with care.

This applies to traffic on Blenheim Street.

Don’t forget that you may have a duty to yield to the vehicle turning left, even if you are traveling straight through the intersection.

The red light is a different matter. This traffic signal is at an intersection, so drivers and riders on Fourth Street facing it are required to stop, wait for a green light, yield to traffic still lawfully in the intersection and then proceed if it is safe to do so.

The only exception to this is when making a right turn on red is not prohibited. However, you still have to come to a stop, yield as necessary and make your turn with care.

Throw a few pedestrians into the mix and the rules requiring a driver to yield become more complex.

The Twitter follower travels this route frequently and says that he is often subjected to the wrath of drivers behind him when he stops for the stop sign and the traffic light is red. Honk, honk, honk! How dare you slow me down!

This reminds me of the proverb look before you leap. This wisdom has been forgotten by many drivers as the tendency is to keep going rather than stop or slow down.

After years of observing this behaviour I often joked that I wanted to be assigned to a “bridge out” complaint. I would set up cones, park my police vehicle with the emergency lights flashing, stand beside the road holding a stop sign and watch everyone drive by and fill up the hole.

How Do We Define A Bad Driver?

Back Window Body Count GraphicHave you responded to our provincial government’s request for feedback on the setting of fair ICBC rates yet? The hope is to “introduce changes to the current system to make insurance rates more fair for British Columbians by making all drivers more accountable for their decisions and driving behaviour.” The implication here is that bad drivers don’t pay their fair share of insurance premiums.

That begs the not so simple question of just how do we define a bad driver?

Perhaps at the most basic level we have people who will never learn to be a good driver. For a multitude of reasons they will meet the basic level of obtaining a driver’s licence but never progress from there. According to one ICBC driver examiner that I know, passing the test means that you possess sufficient skill to drive without being a significant hazard to others.

The expectation is that you will improve from there.

So, what have you done to improve other than gain experience by driving on your own? Some of us take training required by our employers. Car enthusiast groups promote skill improvement among their members. The rest of us? Well, maybe we’re better than average drivers already and there is no need to improve.

I offered a free hour of driver improvement to DriveSmartBC visitors once and was not exactly inundated with people saying “Pick me!”

Again, for a variety of reasons, we may be a good driver but lose this ability, either abruptly or over time.

Maybe a good driver has a thorough understanding of the driving rules and always follows them. I’ll ask the question again, are you smarter than a learner driver? My experience in traffic enforcement has shown me that many drivers have incomplete knowledge on that subject yet possess a clean driving record.

Do you think that a good driver never drives while their ability is impaired? Drugs and alcohol immediately come to mind here, but fatigue, illness, disabilities and emotion are all factors that can impair our ability to drive well.

What about attitude? Looking at others, I see a lot of “I’m important, you are not. I’m in a hurry, get out of my way!” when I drive. There are also drivers who will readily admit to acts of civil disobedience when the traffic rules don’t suit them. Don’t like it? Don’t bother!

Do only bad drivers become involved in collisions? Hands up those of you among us who have never caused even the slightest damage let alone bumped into something that they should not have. I’m embarrassed to say it, but I lost the ability to do that while still in my teens.

Does being human automatically mean that you will always be a bad driver at some level? No matter how hard I try not to, eventually I make a driving error. Sometimes it is only luck or the skill of other drivers that prevents that error from becoming a collision.

It’s easy to point the finger at others and much more difficult to examine the same thing in ourselves. So, honestly, how do you define a bad driver?

Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.

The Not-So-Professional Driver

I’m one of those odd drivers who tries their best to drive at or below the posted speed limit. I include the word below here as sometimes there is a need to slow down to less than the posted speed limit for safety reasons. This often has consequences for me when I have to share the road with other drivers who do not subscribe to my philosophy on road safety. A good example of this is looking in my rear view mirror and finding the Volvo logo on the grille of a heavy transport truck following me closely enough that I could count the bugs stuck to it.

This incident occurred on the Trans Canada Highway westbound between the Alberta border and Golden on a relatively long and steep downgrade while I was returning home from a family wedding in Banff. Road conditions were not the greatest as the winter damage had been done and road maintenance had not yet caught up. The shoulders were gravel covered, the lane markings were poor or non-existent and the road surface itself was uneven in places.

My preferred solution to this is to simply pull over and let the offender by. Better to inconvenience myself than to become involved in a collision. In this case, I had to wait to find a good place to do this and sweat out having that Volvo logo looming large behind me. The truck passed me before I was able to do so, but I was able to read the company name off the door of the truck cab.

If you are not content to just shrug your shoulders and mutter something about the driver’s ancestry under your breath, what can be done about incidents like this one?

Google is your friend. Most trucking firms today have a web site with contact information on it that you can use to telephone or send e-mail. A company that cares will listen to your side of the story, speak to their driver about it and take action that is fair and in their best interest. Repeated complaints about the same driver could result in dismissal.

Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) will accept complaints about commercial vehicle driving. Your complaint will be directed to the regional CVSE manager where the incident occurred. The manager has two options open to them, contacting the company and advising CVSE personnel in the region to keep the company in mind. This may have more weight than your personal complaint to the company as a clean National Safety Code record is important to a reputable trucking firm.

The police can take enforcement action based solely on your complaint if it is a credible one and likely to result in a conviction in traffic court. Take a look at the article on how to make an effective driving complaint to the police for more information. Like CVSE, the police are going to need either the licence plate information or company name on the truck itself. The licence plate information from the trailer is helpful, but much less useful for follow up.

The biggest hurdle with enforcement action is that you will be required to travel back to the jurisdiction of the incident to supply witness testimony if the ticket is disputed. The courts will not cover your travel expenses so it will be up to you to foot the bill.

Changes are on the horizon. When traffic court is replaced with adjudication by RoadSafetyBC witness information could be supplied in writing or by teleconference. Phase one of the two stage change process is currently under way and that is the implementation of electronic ticketing and fine payment. When that is completed, the shift to adjudication will occur, but there is no time line information available for that change. Enabling provisions for the system were added to the Motor Vehicle Act in 2012.

Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.

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Driving penalties to go up, but at what ultimate cost?

Distracted driving penalties are increasing. Again.

And immediate roadside driving prohibitions (like those for impaired driving) might be coming.

Goodness. Much ado about distracted driving!

Would it be fair for distracted driving penalties to be as swift and severe as those for impaired driving?

Consider which behaviour is more deserving of swift and severe consequences.

Which is a clear, conscious choice?

Driving after drinking alcohol is a clear, conscious choice. Absolutely. But that’s not the offence.  The offence is doing so with a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.05.

Depending on gender, weight and size, it could take as little as two or as many as five drinks over a two hour period to reach 0.05.

You might get it wrong. Adding to the problem, the consumption of any alcohol will impact on your ability to monitor that consumption!

Don’t you dare interpret me as making light of the serious problem of impaired driving, by the way.  I am simply comparing the 0.05 offence with distracted driving on the basis of conscious choice.

Neither cell phone use, nor texting can be “mistakenly” engaged in. Doing so while driving is a conscious choice.

A conscious choice to engage in an illegal driving behaviour that you know is dangerous. Doesn’t that cry out for swift and severe consequences?

Look at speeding as a comparison.

Exceeding a posted speed limit can occur absent-mindedly and results in a fine. Excessive speeding results in the immediate impoundment of your vehicle.

Do we need swift and severe consequences to curb distracted driving? Let’s look at the history of distracted driving penalties in British Columbia.

We prohibited distracted driving as of January 1, 2010, with a fine of $167.00.

A lack of effectiveness led to a change effective June 1, 2016.The fine increased from $167.00 to $368.00, along with 4 points there was a total financial hit for a first time offender of $543.00. A second offence resulted in fines and points costing up to $1,256.00.

That increase didn’t do much to change driver behaviours. According to Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, the number of distracted driving tickets issued between June, 2016 and June, 2017 (44,000) was a reduction of only 13 percent from the year before.

Now we have another increase coming as of March 1, 2018. No change for first time offenders, but a second offence will come with up to a whopping $1,996.00 of fines and points.

When announcing the latest change, our Attorney General was quoted as saying: “Once implemented, this change will treat distracted driving as the serious high-risk behaviour that it is; one that is on par with impaired driving and excessive speeding”.

I agree. It is a serious high-risk behaviour on par with impaired driving and excessive speeding. But no, this change does not bring the consequences up to those levels.

A first offender will still drive way with a few hundred dollars of fines and points. We need swift and severe.

READ MORE HERE about Goodness. Much ado about distracted driving! 

Source: Paul Hergott, Personal Injury Lawyer

Source: DriveSmartBC

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