ICBC warns about spike in pedestrian crashes

ICBC is launching a pedestrian safety campaign with the B.C. government and police to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe as crashes involving pedestrians spike at this time of year.

On average, 59 pedestrians are killed and 2,300 injured in crashes every year in B.C., with almost half of these fatalities (46 per cent) occurring between October and January.*

Pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, wearing bright and reflective clothing, and staying focused on the road. ICBC will be distributing reflectors and safety tips through community policing volunteers across the province in areas with high volumes of pedestrian traffic.

Through ICBC’s road improvement program, over 100 pedestrian and cyclist related projects were completed last year including crosswalks, sidewalks, countdown timers and pedestrian activated flashing crosswalks.

About 70 per cent of pedestrian crashes happen at intersections. The intersection safety camera program, a partnership between ICBC, the B.C. government and police since 1999, has cameras set up at 140 of the highest-risk intersections in 26 communities across the province. It’s one of the many enforcement, education and awareness tactics used to improve pedestrian safety.

This year’s pedestrian safety campaign will feature radio advertising aimed at drivers and transit advertising aimed at pedestrians in the highest pedestrian crash areas of the province, along with online advertising.

Be a safe pedestrian (ICBC)

Be a safe pedestrian (infographic) ICBC

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Transport Canada warns some Ram pickups at risk of fire from alternator short

Transport Canada has issued a recall notice for about 10,000 Ram pickup trucks and other Fiat Chrysler vehicles that are at increased risk of stalling or fire in the engine compartment due to an electrical short.

The federal agency says the affected vehicles from model years 2007 to 2014 have a 220-amp alternator with a potential to malfunction in hot weather.

It says the problem can be corrected by replacing the alternator.

The recall affects Ram 2500 pickup trucks from the 2013 model year, Ram 3500s from as early as the 2007 model year and Ram 4500 and 5500s from the 2008 through 2013 model years.

It also affects the Dodge Charger police cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.

 

How do I Deal with the Legal System After a Fatal Collision?

Scales of JusticeHow do I deal with the legal system after my son was killed by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel? This was the plea in my in-box from a mother who was trying to understand in the recent aftermath of a catastrophe. The two haunting concerns that she has right now is that this driver is still legally allowed to drive and the most significant consequence that he might face for causing death is a traffic ticket.

At it’s most basic, the investigation by police will involve the gathering of information about all involved, photographs, witness statements and perhaps a few measurements. A situation like this one should also involve an officer specially trained in collision reconstruction and a commercial vehicle inspector as the offending vehicle was a five ton van. At best, a dedicated crash investigation team that employs many experienced investigators with a wide range of skills could be called to participate.

A quick start and a thorough initial investigation to gather as much information as possible is critical to the outcome of any prosecution of the offending driver. This can take time to complete and then prepare a comprehensive report to Crown Counsel for a decision on appropriate charges.

What happens to the offending driver between the initial incident and the first appearance in court to face charges depends on many things. The severity of the incident, the actions of the driver that led to it, their criminal and driving history and the possibility of repeated similar behaviour in the near future are all considered. It is not uncommon to have an alcoholic driver with previous convictions released by a justice of the peace on a condition not to drive until the conclusion of the case for a current offence and could be considered for an incident such as this one.

In British Columbia, once the police investigation is concluded and a report to Crown Counsel is filed a decision will be made on how to deal with the offence. The Crown Counsel Policy Manual sets out responsibility for decisions and what the possible range of actions might be. Depending on the decision, actions may range from alternate measures, a traffic ticket or criminal prosecution.

Finally, the issue of punishment for the offending driver is dealt with by the courts, assuming that the driver is convicted or pleads guilty. Again, the range of outcomes is extensive, ranging from alternative resolutions, Motor Vehicle Act convictions, and criminal convictions including fines, house arrest and jail sentences. The judge is restricted in applying penalty by case law and the charges that Crown Counsel chooses to prosecute.

RoadSafetyBC, also known as the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles can choose to take action if advised as well. The Superintendent can choose to prohibit a driver when it is in the public interest to do so.

The Criminal Code of Canada says that a person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, they cause the death of a human being. Further, a person commits culpable homicide when they cause the death of a human being by means of an unlawful act or by criminal negligence. A driver is criminally negligent when they show wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.

A commercial driver who must follow hours of service rules and disregards them could be considered to be showing reckless disregard, as well as any driver who is aware that they are excessively fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel and continues to drive.

Reference Link:

Distracted and Drugged Driving accelerate concerns over teen driver safety

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2016 /CNW/ – National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), an annual public awareness campaign aimed at educating young drivers about road safety, is taking place October 16-22. This year, Parachute and State Farm are calling on teens to help reduce distracted and drug impaired driving and #GetHomeSafe.

A new Parachute poll, which for the first time includes Canadian transgender youth (aged 16-24), finds 39% of young drivers admit they text behind the wheel and an alarming 71% don’t consider using their phones while driving to be very distracting. Distracted driving is a factor in up to 19% of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

“It’s concerning that while many teens are still choosing to use their phones while driving when research shows that texting behind the wheel is the same as driving with your eyes closed for five seconds,” says Pamela Fuselli, Parachute Interim CEO. “We’re asking all teens to make a pledge to #GetHomeSafe and commit to safer driving practices.”

Educating teens about drug impaired driving is also a focus of this year’s National Teen Driver Safety Week. One in four teen drivers who died in a crash between 2000- 2010 tested positive for cannabis yet many youth don’t consider drugged driving high risk.

“It’s imperative that while driving you remain focused and attentive, avoid distractions and refrain from drugs and alcohol. This is for your own safety and that of passengers, other motorists and pedestrians,” explains John Bordignon, Media Relations State Farm Canada. “We know various prescription drugs and marijuana impair judgment and reaction time. With legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use imminent safeguards need to be in place to discourage teenagers and drivers of all ages from getting behind the wheel while they are influenced by it. Road safety must be a clear priority.”

For a full look at the Parachute poll involving young Canadian drivers and a new drug-impaired driving, infographic visit parachutecanada.org/ntdsw.

Take Action to Support National Teen Driver Safety Week
In honour of NTDSW, Parachute and its partners premiered Choices, a new interactive film where participants can pledge to #GetHomeSafe and help end texting and driving. Learn more here.

This year, Parachute is proud to have received the support of provinces and municipalities from coast to coast for National Teen Driver Safety Week. Provinces and municipalities are engaged in a variety of ways, ranging from proclamations to communications support to community events. Visit proclamations for details.

During the week of October 16-22, 2016, teens, parents, and influencers will be participating in NTDSW activities across Canadian communities, including Parachute’s positive ticketing activity, which promotes, encourages and rewards good driving habits among teens.

Help us raise awareness about this campaign. Take a picture with yourself or with a group of close friends and pledge on social media to make sure you will #GetHomeSafe and make sure your friends do the same. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and share the content we will be posting throughout the week.

About Parachute
Parachute is a national charity helping Canadians stop the clock on preventable injuries. The injury impact is staggering. Preventable injuries are the #1 killer of children. They cost the Canadian economy $27B a year, and worst of all, one child dies every nine hours. Through education, knowledge and empowerment, Parachute is working to save lives and create an injury-free Canada. For information, visit us at www.parachutecanada.org, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook.

About State Farm
In January 2015, State Farm’s Canadian operations were purchased by Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group inCanada and among the three largest P&C insurance providers in Canada. With its 500 dedicated agents and 1700 employees, the State Farm division provides insurance and financial services products including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, visit https://www.statefarm.ca, join us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

SOURCE Parachute

Winter road and weather conditions change quickly – So should your driving

Road and weather conditions change quickly during winter. Drivers should be prepared to adjust their driving behaviour to match the conditions and address potential hazards.

On average, each year in British Columbia, the number of casualty crashes due to driving too fast for conditions doubles in December compared to October – approximately 236 crashes in December compared to approximately 117 in October (ICBC Annual Average Casualty Crashes due to Driving too Fast for Conditions 2011-2015 police reported data).

This trend extends to those who drive for work. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of traumatic workplace death, and more crashes causing worker injury or death occur between October and February. (WorkSafeBC, 2016).

Be part of the solution:

  • Slow down to a safe speed. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.
  • Install 4 matched winter tires that display the 3-peak mountain snowflake symbol. Winter tires, or all-weather tires, offer the best traction for faster stopping time and shorter stopping distance in cold weather, snow, rain and on ice. In all conditions winter tires must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.
  • For employers and supervisors, the Winter Driving Safety online course and Tool Kit on the Shift Into Winter website provides useful information for planning, implementing and monitoring a winter driving safety program.

Even the most confident and seasoned drivers are at risk when winter road and weather conditions change. Whether you drive for work or leisure now is the time to prepare.

Between October 1 and March 31, most B.C. highways require passenger vehicles to have 3-peak mountain snowflake tires and commercial vehicles to carry chains.

For more information about what you can do to be a safer driver this winter, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca.

Quotes:

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond

“Whether you drive to and from work, or spend much of your job on the road, every driver needs to be prepared for changeable and often challenging winter driving conditions. Being aware of the weather and planning for winter road conditions can mean the difference between a tragedy and getting home safely to your family at the end of the day.”

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone

“Winter poses unique travel and road maintenance challenges in B.C. One of our goals is to help keep drivers informed, prepared and travelling safely in winter conditions. We encourage drivers to be mindful of changing weather conditions, and regulate their speed accordingly, especially on high mountain passes and interior highways where conditions can change from rain to snow very quickly. ”

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Morris

“Unpredictable winter driving conditions means everyone has to be extra careful when they’re on the roads. Snow squalls and icy conditions can challenge any driver. Do your part, don’t drink and drive, don’t drive distracted – it will cost you. In 2015 alone, driver inattention contributed to at least 88 deaths in B.C. Make the safe, smart decision so all British Columbians get to their destination safely.”

RCMP “E” Division Traffic Services Officer in Charge, Supt Derek Cooke

“Everyone on our roads and highways are trying to get to their destinations safely. British Columbia has unique terrain, and weather and road conditions that can change quickly. If we all plan ahead, give ourselves extra time to reach our destination, and have the proper equipment on our vehicles we can prevent unnecessary collisions, and ensure that everyone arrives alive.”

ICBC President and CEO, Mark Blucher

“During fall and winter, drivers need to adjust their driving for the road conditions they encounter, allow extra travel time and ensure their vehicle is properly equipped for every trip. For the safety of everyone on our roads, slow down, increase your following distance to at least four seconds and use extra caution – especially when approaching intersections. Anything drivers can do to avoid crashes will help reduce claims costs and the pressure on insurance rates.”

WorkSafeBC Vice President, Prevention Services, Al Johnson

“Every morning hundreds of BC workers get out of bed and get into vehicles to drive our roads…delivery vans, transports, buses and tow trucks. Driving is their job. We know that workers are more at risk of injury when they drive for work during the winter months because driving conditions are more extreme. Organizations can prepare now for that heightened risk by putting together a winter driving safety program and communicating it effectively to their staff with the online resources from Shift into Winter. Being prepared can save lives.”

About the Winter Driving Safety Alliance

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is a joint provincial initiative comprised of organizations committed to improving the safety of drivers during the winter months. They are the Ambulance Paramedics of BC CUPE 873, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Mainroad Group, B.C. Forest Safety Council, B.C. Trucking Association, Finning, Insurance Corporation of B.C., Kal Tire, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, WorkSafeBC, the Automotive Retailers Association, the Trucking Safety Council of B.C., the City of Prince George, and the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.

SOURCE Road Safety At Work

Automated Vehicle Technology Not Driverless Yet

Startling results of a national public opinion survey about automated vehicles revealed that public misperceptions and over-confidence in these technologies may have unintended consequences for driver behaviour. The May 2016 poll was released today by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) in partnership with the Toyota Canada Foundation (TCF). More than 2,600 Canadian drivers responded to the poll that investigated driver knowledge, attitudes, and practices in relation to much anticipated, semi- and fully-automated vehicles.

The increasing availability of advanced safety features that work in tandem, such as lane-keeping and forward collision warning systems, have been an important step towards the development of automated vehicles. Currently, expectations are high that the advent of semi- or fully-automated vehicles will dramatically reduce road crashes and produce a range of other benefits. But whether these gains are achieved will ultimately depend entirely on drivers.

“The results of this poll demonstrated that the limitations of automated vehicle technology are not well-understood by the general public” said Robyn Robertson, President & CEO of TIRF and lead researcher on the study. “Almost 1 in 6 Canadians believed that they would not have to be attentive when driving a semi-automated vehicle, and that they would not have to be prepared to take control of it unexpectedly.”

Equally concerning, at least some drivers reported they would be more willing to take risks when using a semi-automated vehicle. Almost 25% of drivers reported they would drive tired or fatigued, and 17% would engage in a non-driving activity such as texting, reading or working more than they do now. And, 10% and 9% of drivers respectively indicated that they would be more willing to sleep or nap behind the wheel, or drink and drive.

“Some organizations will tell you that automated vehicle technology is intended to replace the driver. Our view is that advanced active safety technology is meant to enhance a driver’s control of their vehicle, but that it is not a replacement for a knowledgeable and attentive driver.”, said Stephen Beatty, Vice-President, Corporate at Toyota Canada, Inc. “This study tells us that we, as an industry, still have lots of work to do when it comes to educating drivers about the capabilities and limitations of the technology.”

There are many outstanding driver issues that have not yet been addressed, and it is important to underscore the distinction between what automated technology can currently do, and what it may be able to do in the future. Results of the TIRF poll indicated that Canadians will want to use semi-automated vehicles to drive in bad weather, heavy traffic and poor road conditions, but these are precisely the conditions under which automated technology is currently most likely to fail.

According to Robertson, “These findings underscored that drivers are not aware of their continued role in the safety equation as these vehicles become available. Such misperceptions have real potential to negatively affect driver behaviour and result in either unintentional misuse or abuse of technologies that are able to assist drivers, but not replace them.”

The results of this study also shed light on other key issues that will have important implications for driver acceptance of automated vehicles, and their willingness to use them. In particular, public opinion was varied regarding the cost of insurance and who should be assigned liability or fault in collisions involving automated vehicles. In addition, expectations regarding ethical decision-making algorithms that will shape the way automated vehicles respond in an unavoidable crash were divided in terms of whether vehicle occupants should be protected, or vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

Overall, findings from this poll highlighted that education and awareness must keep pace with automated vehicle technology to avoid increased risk-taking by drivers. The prevalence of misperceptions about the capabilities of this technology, and its limitations is concerning. Governments, manufacturers and road safety stakeholders are important partners that must work cooperatively to fill this critical gap.

Download full AV report:

Download Executive Summary report: 

Brain on Board. In 2013, TIRF launched its first bilingual national education program, created with funding from the Toyota Canada Foundation. It is a one-stop-shop to learn about the many vehicle safety features that are rapidly becoming standard on vehicles, and how to maximize the protection they provide by combining them with safe driving behaviours. Brain on Board contains a wealth of free online and downloadable resources, videos, posters, diagrams, fact sheets and flash cards. Educational materials based on the automated vehicle survey will be made available soon. Visit www.brainonboard.ca or www.cerveauabord.ca.

About the poll. These results are based on a public opinion poll developed by TIRF. Data were collected by Nielsen among a total of 2,662 Canadians, who completed the poll in April and May 2016. Results can be considered accurate within plus or minus 1.9%, 19 times out of 20. The majority of the questions were answered using a scale from one to six where six indicated high agreement, concern, or support and one indicated low agreement, concern or support. All of the respondents completed the survey online.

About TIRF. Established in 1964, TIRF’s mission is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. As a national, independent, charitable road safety research institute, TIRF designs, promotes, and implements effective programs and policies, based on sound research. TIRF is a registered Canadian charity and depends on grants, contracts, and donations to provide services to the public. Visit us online at www.tirf.ca; Twitter and Facebook.

About the Toyota Canada Foundation. The Toyota Canada Foundation is a national not-for-profit, private charitable foundation, with a long-standing commitment to the Environment, Education, and Safety. The Foundation supports charitable and non-profit organizations dedicated to good work in these areas. 

SOURCE Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF)

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