UBC researchers call on province to roll back 120 km/h speed limits on 1,300 km of roads
One woman was on a Canada-wide driving ban; police impounded all of the vehicles
In just 12 hours on Tuesday, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary pulled over five drivers who didn’t have insurance or a licence.
Around noon, officers pulled over a vehicle and found the driver had a suspended licence.
The 48-year-old woman also didn’t have insurance.
Officers pulled over another vehicle around 7:30 p.m. for defective equipment.
They found the driver was suspended from operating a vehicle, and the vehicle was not insured.
Two more uninsured drivers were pulled over in Kilbride just after 10:30 p.m.
All of those drivers were given tickets and had their vehicles impounded.
And earlier in the day, a woman was found to be driving on a Canada-wide ban and with a suspended licence.
The vehicle she was driving was pulled over around 8:30 a.m. in Conception Bay South.
The 33-year-old woman was arrested and held overnight, and the vehicle was also impounded.
Source: CBC News
The Winter Driving Safety Alliance — an organization committed to promoting safe winter driving — urges all drivers and workplaces to Shift into Winter by preparing their vehicles and adjusting driving behaviour to reduce the risk of a crash in challenging winter conditions.
Depending on where you drive in the province, winter road conditions vary, from snow and ice in the north and on high mountain passes, to rain and fog commonly found in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island. B.C. drivers — and employers with workers who operate fleet or personal vehicles for business purposes — need to think ahead and prepare for changing road and weather conditions, as winter tires or chains are required on designated B.C. routes, starting October 1.
On average, each year in B.C., the number of casualty crashes caused by driving too fast for conditions doubles in December, compared to October — 246 crashes in December compared to 123 in October (police-attended crashes, 2013-2017). The winter months of November, December, and January are a particularly dangerous time for people who drive for work, with nearly 28 per cent of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time loss claims occurring during these months (WorkSafeBC Data 2013 – 2017).
Starting October 1, most B.C. highways require passenger vehicles to have winter tires (three-peaked mountain and snowflake, or mud and snow) with at least 3.5 mm of tread depth and commercial vehicles to carry chains.
While winter tires, chains and other devices enhance safety by providing better traction in rain, snow, slush and icy conditions, drivers are encouraged to:
- Plan your route ahead of time – check current highway and weather conditions on DriveBC.ca. Delay travel if conditions are unsafe.
- Invest in winter driving training – Learn how to brake safely, how to get out of a skid, and how your car handles in winter weather.
- Slow down – The posted speed limit is the maximum speed under ideal driving conditions, so when inclement weather hits, you should slow down and drive with extra care. Keep at least four seconds distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to allow plenty of room in situations where you may need to brake suddenly on a slippery surface.
- Be prepared – Bring suitable clothing, emergency supplies and a fully charged cell phone if you have one in case of travel delays or a motor vehicle incident.
For employers and supervisors – Employers are legally required to ensure the safety of their workers who operate motor vehicles for business purposes. The Winter Driving Safety online course and Employer Toolkit on the Shift Into Winter website provides useful information for planning, implementing and monitoring a winter-driving safety program.
For more information about what you can do to stay safe while driving this winter, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca.
Hon. Harry Bains, Minister of Labour:
“Safety on the job must always be the top priority, for employers and workers alike, and it can be particularly difficult when the workplace is mobile. I urge all drivers to be extra vigilant as we move into the winter season with its challenging road conditions. Be alert, be cautious – and let’s all get home safely at the end of each shift.”
Hon. Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure:
“We want everyone to drive safely and get home to their families this winter. Safe winter driving is a shared responsibility, and I urge people do their part by using good winter tires, planning ahead by checking DriveBC, slowing down and driving to conditions.”
Darrin McCaskill, Director, Programs, Projects and Initiatives, WorkSafeBC:
“Every day hundreds of British Columbians drive on our roads for work – tow trucks, taxis, transports, delivery vans and buses. Organizations need to prepare now, before road conditions deteriorate, by winterizing their safety plans, assessing and addressing risks and ensuring that workers and contractors are instructed on safe driving procedures. There are a number of resources on the Shift into Winter website. WorkSafeBC can also be contacted directly on its prevention line: 1-888-621-7233.”
About the Winter Driving Safety Alliance
The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is dedicated to improving road safety throughout the province, through the delivery of an annual Shift Into Winter campaign, using multiple platforms to promote safe winter driving and awareness.
Members include Ambulance Paramedics of B.C. (CUPE 873), Automotive Retailers Association, BCAA, BC Forest Safety Council, BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, BC Trucking Association, City of Prince George, Concrete BC, Government of BC, Insurance Corporation of BC, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Kal Tire, Mainroad Group, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, SafetyDriven, Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, Wilson M Beck Insurance Group, and WorkSafeBC.
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the provincial government. The organization serves approximately 2.4 million workers and 238,000 employers throughout British Columbia. In administering the Workers Compensation Act, the organization is accountable to the public through the provincial government.
SOURCE Winter Driving Safety Alliance
Almost double the number of pedestrians are injured in crashes from October to January as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease.*
That’s why today, ICBC is launching a pedestrian safety campaign with police to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe as crashes with pedestrians spike at this time of year.
Pedestrian safety is a serious concern in B.C. – they’re the most vulnerable road user to being injured when a crash occurs. Drivers should take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning, avoid distractions and be ready to yield.
Pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, appearing as reflective as possible and only using designated crosswalks.
ICBC and community policing volunteers will be handing out reflectors and safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas across the province to help pedestrians stay visible.
This year’s campaign features radio and online advertising that reminds drivers: you see pedestrians when you really look for them.
Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee
“Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way remain the top contributing factors for drivers in crashes involving pedestrians. These are dangerous driving behaviours which will not be tolerated by police.”
Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s interim vice-president responsible for road safety
“Even when drivers proceed with caution, it’s hard to see pedestrians at this time of year when visibility is poor. Crashes with pedestrians are highest between 3pm and 6pm every day, when most of us are commuting home from school and work. Please focus on the road and leave your phone alone. It’s time we all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.”
In the Lower Mainland every year, on average, 2,100 crashes involve a pedestrian.
On Vancouver Island every year, on average, 370 crashes involve a pedestrian.
In the Southern Interior every year, on average, 270 crashes involve a pedestrian.
In the North Central region every year, on average, 86 crashes involve a pedestrian.
Editor’s note: Pedestrian involved crash statistics for municipalities are available upon request.
*In B.C., 1,120 pedestrians are injured in crashes between October and January and 640 pedestrians are injured between May and August. ICBC data based on five year average from 2013 to 2017.
**ICBC data based on five year average from 2013 to 2017.
Change is good, that is unless the town wants to upgrade a busy T intersection with a roundabout rather than installing traffic lights. This is the situation in Qualicum Beach where the town has announced that it intends to rebuild the intersection of highway 19A (Island Highway West) and highway 4 (Memorial Avenue) using a roundabout. This is something that the Qualicum Beach Residents Association (QBRA) opposes.
The collision picture here is a quiet one, relatively speaking. ICBC says that between 2011 and 2015 there were 19 crashes at the intersection and only 3 of them included injuries. There is mention by both the town and the QBRA of a pedestrian fatality close by in the recent past but there is no indication of how close or if the fatality was related to the intersection itself.
The QBRA wants traffic lights installed at this intersection instead of a roundabout and wrote to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to register opposition to this portion of the project.
The number of signatures on the petition amounted to about 10% of the town’s population, but there was no indication of whether the petition was limited to residents of the town or not.
Will the desires of the QBRA prevail?
The current design guide used by the province indicates on page 139 that:
Roundabouts shall be considered as the first option for intersection designs where 4-way stop control or traffic signals are supported by traffic analysis. If an intersection treatment other than a roundabout is recommended, the project documentation should include a reason why a roundabout solution was not selected for that location. This roundabouts “first” policy supports the province’s Climate Action Program of 2007.
Why are roundabouts considered to be the best option? They have a high potential for safety:
- Lower speeds – Situation changes slowly
- Very forgiving environment
- More time to make the right response
- Judging gaps is easy and mistakes are not lethal
- NO demand to accurately judge closing speeds of fast traffic
- Low energy crashes: low closing speeds, low angle, low impact
- No wide visual scans needed • Reduced need to look over one’s shoulder
- Uncomplicated situations; simple decision- making
The most commonly raised concerns involve pedestrians and cyclists.
Of the two, the pedestrian receives more benefits. They now only have to cross one lane at a time with a refuge in the splitter island half way across. Marked crosswalks are set away from the circle. This means that pedestrians are not crossing directly in front of drivers busy looking for a gap in traffic.
Cyclists trade a slightly increased collision rate for conditions that make those collisions much less likely to result in significant injury or death.
To summarize, roundabouts have been shown to reduce total crashes by 39%. serious crashes by 76% and fatal or incapacitating injuries by 89% when compared to intersections with stop signs or traffic lights.
Does this sound like something we should oppose?
As an aside, the town’s web site mentions the yellow flashing pedestrian signals currently installed in the intersection.
The claim is made that the RCMP does not consider this to be a traffic control device.
“traffic control device” means a sign, signal, line, meter, marking, space, barrier or device, not inconsistent with this Part, placed or erected by authority of the minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act, the council of a municipality or the governing body of a treaty first nation or a person authorized by any of them to exercise that authority;
“traffic control signal” means a traffic control device, whether manually, electrically or mechanically operated, by which traffic is directed to stop and to proceed.
131 (3) When rapid intermittent flashes of yellow light are exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal, the driver of a vehicle facing the flashes of yellow light may cause it to enter the intersection and proceed only with caution, but must yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully in the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk,
This is not correct and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in this situation.
Snow, sleet, rain, hail and fog are just some of the challenging fall conditions you should be prepared for on B.C. roads if you’ll be travelling this Thanksgiving long weekend.
On average, four people are killed and 650 people are injured in 2,100 crashes in B.C. over Thanksgiving long weekend.*
As of October 1, drivers are required to use winter tires on many B.C. highways including parts of Vancouver Island, Highway 99 to Whistler, and most highways in the Southern Interior and northern B.C.
ICBC’s Drive Smart tips:
Know your route. Weather is unpredictable and varies greatly at this time of year so check road and weather conditions before your trip at drivebc.ca.
Prepare your vehicle. With summer weather long over in parts of the province, make sure your vehicle’s seasonally prepared. It’s just as important to prepare your vehicle as it is to adjust your speed for the road conditions. Make sure your vehicle’s headlights and taillights are in working order, keep wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility and don’t drive with badly worn or under-inflated tires.
Need winter tires? Winter tires are now required on many B.C. highways. Winter tires are labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow designation (M&S). They must also be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.
Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal road conditions. When driving on snow, ice, slush or in rain or fog, slow down. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet or slippery roads and avoid driving through flooded or washed out roads.
Take a break from your phone. Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your notifications while driving. If you have to take a call, pull over when it’s safe to do so; stay focused on the road and keep the conversation brief. Make sure you’re focused on driving before re-entering traffic.
In the Lower Mainland, 490 people are injured in 1,400 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.
On Vancouver Island, 78 people are injured in 280 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.
In the Southern Interior, 56 people are injured in 300 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.
In the North Central region, 18 people are injured in 140 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.
*Crash and injury counts based on ICBC data (2013 to 2017); fatalities based on police data (2012 to 2016). Thanksgiving long weekend is calculated from 6 p.m. the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Monday.