High Collision Location Signs – DriveSmartBC

I live near a section of Highway 19 that travels through a built up area. The highway changes from 4 lanes divided by a barrier with a posted speed of 90 km/h to 4 lanes that is not divided posted at 60 km/h. So few people slow to 60 that I often hear long time locals asking new residents if they have gotten a speeding ticket there yet.

Before the median barrier was installed, this 60 km/h zone was part of the highest collision zone policed by Central Vancouver Island Traffic Services.

Nanoose Bay Highway Cam

A couple of afternoons ago there was a two vehicle collision in that 60 zone that blocked northbound traffic. I posted details on Facebook in a local resident’s group as there was no path around the collision scene and traffic would be held up until emergency services dealt with the situation.

The post triggered a discussion that included frustrated comments on how difficult it was to get onto the highway from side roads and that drivers regularly failed to stop for the traffic light in the middle of the zone.

Since this is a high collision area, it was also suggested that the appropriate authority be contacted to have a sign to that effect posted with the hope that drivers would slow down.

Which would you rather do when turning left from a stop sign, cross two lanes of traffic to enter a third lane when everyone is travelling at 60 km/h or at 90 km/h?

Why is that such an easy choice when you are turning from a side road, but not when you are the through traffic?

I’ve seen some novel ways to cope such as turning into the oncoming left turn lane and then moving right into the through lane.

The traffic lights at the intersection are preceeded by advance warning signs. One would think that if the drivers were paying attention red light running would not occur.

Having said that, I wonder if the advanced warning lights are timed for drivers who are obeying the speed limit. If they are, the lights will not come on soon enough to provide sufficient warning for those that remained at 90 km/h (or more).

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) installed a dynamic speed display sign on the southbound side of the zone. It is unfortunate that the area is not covered by a traffic count station so that we can see if there has been an improvement or not.

There is some indication of high collision area signs for wildlife having an effect on driver’s speeds but I was not able to find data not related to wildlife. Do you suppose that drivers who don’t obey the 60 km/h speed signs will pay more attention to a high collision area sign? Perhaps.

About a decade ago I attended an open house hosted by the MOTI. They presented four plans for public comment on modifications to this stretch of highway so that drivers could travel through safely at 90 km/h instead of having to slow to 60 km/h. Aside from the installation of some median barriers, no other construction has taken place.

That decade has also seen the average annual daily traffic volume increase from 27,740 to 30,848 vehicles.

Of course, until the budget is found for changes, the simplest way to make this highway safer is for us all to share it unselfishly. If we slow to 60 km/h and stop properly for the red light chances are good that there will be fewer collisions like this one.

Chief privacy czar ‘pleased’ with how B.C. auto insurer protects driver privacy

By Geordon Omand

THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER _ British Columbia’s public auto insurer is “for the most part” fulfilling its duty to protect drivers’ personal information, but there is still room for improvement, the province’s privacy commissioner says.

B.C.’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner announced in February its intention to look into the information-sharing agreements used by the Insurance Corporation of B.C. to make sure it was complying with privacy legislation.

In a report released Wednesday, acting commissioner Drew McArthur said he was pleased with the findings, which concluded that disclosures by ICBC to approved third parties were generally “reasonable and proportionate.”

“The ability for individuals to control their own personal information is fundamental to protecting privacy … and is a right that citizens value,” he added.

“Public bodies need to have appropriate controls in place to protect the personal information they hold.”

The report makes 12 recommendations on how the Crown corporation can improve its information-sharing regime.

They include better tracking and review of third-party access to information, removing duplicate and outdated access of accounts of people who no longer work with authorized third parties, and conducting internal audits of the corporation’s information-sharing systems, policies and governance.

Deputy commissioner Jay Fedorak described ICBC’s database as one of the most important in the province, after the Medical Services Plan database.

“It’s extremely valuable. It contains personal information of almost every adult British Columbian,” Fedorak said in an interview.

“We believe that it’s really important, when there is this kind of sensitive information, that the public can have trust and confidence in how this information is being handled.”

ICBC issued a statement thanking the privacy commissioner for the report and it committed to implement all 12 recommendations.

“We take the protection of personal information records very seriously and accept the recommendations made in the report,” said spokeswoman Joanna Linsangen.

“We believe they will make our procedures even stronger, and have already undertaken efforts to address the commissioner’s recommendations.”

ICBC has come under fire in recent months as successive reports forecast the need for drastic rate hikes to save the floundering corporation from economic collapse.

B.C.’s first NDP government created ICBC in the 1970s to offer affordable, universal and basic auto coverage to the province’s drivers, but critics say political government interference in the intervening years has pushed the Crown corporation into financial distress.

Since taking office earlier this year, Attorney General David Eby announced a rate increase for basic insurance by 6.4 per cent, or $57 a year for the average driver.

Eby, who is also the minister in charge of ICBC, pledged to audit the Crown corporation’s operations and look for ways to reduce collisions, including broadening the use of red light cameras and cracking down on distracted driving.

Autonomous Vehicle Working Group has representatives from every province and Transport Canada

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Distracted driving results in more deaths in B.C. than impaired driving

Distracted driving results in more deaths in B.C. than impaired driving

ICBC, government and police are reminding drivers to “take a break from their phone”

Distracted driving continues to claim more lives on B.C. roads than impaired driving.

Despite tougher penalties, more police enforcement and continued public education, on average, 78 people still don’t make it home to their families every year because of distracted and inattentive drivers*. In contrast, an average of 66 people are killed each year due to impaired driving. In fact, distraction and driver inattention is one of the top contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities in BC and contributes to more than one quarter of all car crash deaths.**

In a recent Ipsos Reid study conducted for ICBC, nearly all respondents agreed that it is extremely risky to use their hand-held phone while driving; however, 38 per cent of drivers said that they use their phone during at least 10 per cent of the trips they take.

This month, drivers will be hearing one united message – take a break from your phone when you’re behind the wheel.

Police across B.C. are ramping up distracted driving enforcement in September, and community volunteers are conducting Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to take a break from their phone when driving.

New this year, ICBC is working with four car share companies in B.C. – Car2Go, Evo, Modo and Zipcar – which will help spread the message to car share customers, ensuring more B.C. drivers are aware of the risks of driving while distracted.

The campaign will feature new TV and radio advertising, airing throughout the province from September 8 to October 11, as well as digital and social media advertising.

Free ‘not while driving’ decals are available at ICBC driver licensing offices and participating Autoplan broker offices for drivers to show their support and encourage other road users to follow their example.

You can view more tips and statistics in an infographic at icbc.com.

Quotes:

David Eby, Attorney General

“Distracted driving is entirely preventable, as are the crashes and casualties caused by the behaviour. To address this issue, our government is moving forward with a pilot program of new technologies to eliminate distracted driving among high-risk groups, and to increase public awareness of the risks of this dangerous driving behaviour. Drivers need to be part of the solution too: put down your phones before driving; keep them out of reach; and keep yourself, your passengers and other road users safe.”

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth

“Heading into the school year, I’d like to remind everyone to be safe behind the wheel and keep your eyes on the road at all times. Drivers are facing higher fines, more penalty points and possible driving prohibitions for repeat offences with legislation that came into effect on June 1, 2016. Distracted driving is a high-risk driving offence, which makes it equivalent to excessive speeding, and driving without due care and attention. If your vehicle isn’t equipped for hands-free use of your handheld device, turn off the ringer before you turn on the ignition.”

Superintendent Davis Wendell, OIC E Division Traffic Services and Vice-Chair, B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“The law is clear: you must leave your phone alone when operating a vehicle,” said Superintendent Davis Wendell, OIC E Division Traffic Services and Vice-Chair, B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “Police will be out in full force this month reminding you to put your phone away when you’re behind the wheel. No text or call is worth the risk.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety:

“Distracted driving results in more fatalities than impaired driving, and is also one of the leading contributors of crashes with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “It’s time we all commit to taking a break from our phone and stop driving distracted.”

Regional statistics**:

  • Every year, on average, 26 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland.

  • Every year, on average, 8 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island.

  • Every year, on average, 32 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior.

  • Every year, on average, 14 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the North Central region.

*Includes talking, texting or using a device while driving.
**Police data from 2011 to 2015. Distraction: where one or more of the vehicles involved had contributing factors including use of communication/video equipment, driver inattentive and driver internal/external distraction.

Joanna Linsangan
604-982-2480

New school zone survey shows more parents driving aggressively in school zones

New school zone survey shows more parents driving aggressively in school zones

BCAA’s second annual School Zone Safety survey shows that driving in school zones has gone from bad to worse. In fact, this year’s survey shows a marked increase in concern across the board. Particularly alarming is that hostile/aggressive attitudes amongst parents such as honking or using profanities has jumped almost 30 per cent (51% to 66%).

Last year, Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s Director of Community Engagement called school zones the “wild west”. Shocked by this year’s results, Pettipas is more determined than ever to get parents (the worst offenders) to make—and keep— a ‘new school year’ resolution to improve their driving habits.

“We asked over 300 school faculty and staff and over 400 parents or guardians what they’re seeing in their school zones, and it’s very concerning to see that unsafe driving in school zones has increased,” says Pettipas. “There’s no excuse for hostile behaviour and breaking traffic rules. Parents and motorists have to start driving safely, we don’t want someone to get hurt.”

In addition to more hostile/aggressive attitudes, BCAA’s School Zone Safety survey also reveals an increase in unsafe driving behaviours and ignoring traffic rules amongst parents and guardians dropping off or picking up their children: Over 80 per cent witness parents not following rules of the road, including not stopping at a marked crosswalk (82%) or driving over the speed limit (93%). Distracted driving has also increased and remains high (82% to 86%).

Shawn, a parent himself, understands how stressful school zone driving can be. “We appreciate the honesty of parents and guardians who participated in the survey and shared what they’ve been witnessing in their school zones,” says Pettipas. “Because parents and guardians are in school zones every day, improving safety in school zones can really start with them, and the first step is to improve their driving habits and keep the right attitude.”

BCAA provides tips for parents and motorists to help make school zones safer:

  1. Avoid running late. A great deal of stress arises from feeling rushed. Give yourself plenty of time in the morning and consider completing tasks and preparing your child’s school items the night before.
  2. Focus on what you can control. No matter what’s going on around you, be patient and courteous. Reacting with extreme frustration may aggravate the situation and increase the risk of unsafe behaviours.
  3. Follow the rules, which includes school drop off and pick up procedures and rules of the road such as driving within the speed limit, stopping at marked cross walks and not driving distracted. If everyone follows the rules, problems and misunderstandings are less likely to occur.
  4. Pay close attention while driving. Expect the unexpected and look out for safety risks such as kids darting from cars, along with kids who are cycling and other pedestrians.
  5. Reduce congestion. Consider walking or cycling your child to school or park a few blocks      away   and walk your child the rest of the way to school.

When it comes to rules of the road, BCAA reminds drivers of sections within the BC Motor Vehicle Act which address common driving mistakes made in school zones:

  • Speeding. School zone speed limit is 30 km/hr between 8AM-5PM on school days unless otherwise posted. In playground zones, a 30 km/hr speed limit is in effect from dawn to dusk, 365 days of the year.
  • Crosswalks. Drivers must stop for pedestrians crossing the road at a crosswalk. The best and safest rule is for drivers to stop once they see a pedestrian standing on the curb at a crosswalk and to wait for as long as it takes for all pedestrians to reach the curb on the other side.
  • Crossing guards/patrollers. Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists must follow the instructions of a school crossing guard or student patroller.
  • Distracted driving. Using an electronic device while driving, including holding the device in a position in which it may be used, is considered to be distracted driving and is against the law. For parents and guardians dropping off or picking up their child from school, BCAA recommends they avoid using their cell phone altogether within a school zone, even when their car is parked and idling at the curb.

But the onus is not entirely on drivers. It’s also important for pedestrians and cyclists to follow the rules of the road. BCAA recommends that parents teach their kids how to walk or cycle safely near or on the road.

Visit bcaa.com/blog to learn more about school zone safety.

About the survey

Results are based on an online study conducted from July 15 to July 21, 2017, among a representative sample of 720 adults in British Columbia, including 307 who currently serve as principals, teachers or school staff at a British Columbiaelementary school, and 413 parents or guardians who drop off and/or pick up a child from school. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error for the entire sample—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.7 percentage points.

About BCAA

The most trusted organization in British Columbia by its Members, BCAA serves 1 in 3 B.C. households with industry-leading products including home, auto and travel insurance, roadside assistance, Evo Car Share and full auto service at BCAA’s Auto Service Centres. BCAA has a long history focused on keeping kids safe on the road and at play through community programs such as its School Safety PatrolCommunity Child Car Seat Program and BCAA Play HerePlease visit bcaa.com.

Examples of common driving offences and fines

Motor Vehicle Act section

Description

Fine

Driver penalty points

179(1)

Failure to yield to pedestrian

$167

3

147(1) and (2)

Speeding in school or playground zones

$196-$253

3

179(4)

Disobey school guard/ patrol

$167

3

214.2 (1) and (2)

Using electronic device while driving or emailing or texting while driving

$368

4

 

SOURCE British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA)

Photo: Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s Director of Community Engagement asks parents and drivers to make a ‘new school year’ resolution to drive safe.

ATTORNEY General David Eby on Tuesday announced a 6.4% basic-rate increase this year.

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