What hasn’t been revealed is how much extra money drivers had to pay
Let’s face it — 2020 has been pretty darned hard. It’s only natural to try to squeeze the last bit of fun out of summer this Labour Day long weekend.
Regardless of whether your long weekend plans take you to the lake or a friend’s backyard, SGI wants to make sure everyone gets there and back without any problems.
With heavier traffic, the risk of a crash doubles over long weekends, but there are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself and other road users safe:
- #SlowDown – driving faster than the speed limit or than road conditions allow can affect your control and the time you have to make decisions. Obey posted speed limits. Construction season isn’t over, so keep an especially close eye out for workers in the #OrangeZone. The road is their office. And, with harvest underway, be aware that you might encounter farmers moving their equipment between fields, so be sure to slow down and give them space until they are off the roads.
- #DriveSober – Never drive impaired and #BeAGoodWingman by preventing others from driving impaired as well. While we have made strong progress in reducing impaired driving in Saskatchewan, the fight isn’t over. We want people to always make a plan for a safe ride home, and do it before they crack that beer (or inhale that brownie).
- #BuckleUp – using a seatbelt is a simple behaviour that can save you from serious injury or death in a collision. Need a visual? This video shows what happens to unrestrained occupants in a roll-over (only dummies were severely harmed in the making of that video). It’s hard to believe in the year 2020, police still catch several hundred drivers every month not wearing their seatbelt.
- #JustDrive – Distracted driving penalties went up in February, but there’s a human cost to driver distraction and inattention, as the leading cause of injury. Most distracted driving tickets result from phone use. We have some good tips on what to do with your phone before you drive here.
From everyone at SGI, have a fantastic long weekend!
If you’ll be travelling over Labour Day long weekend, ICBC is asking you to share the road and do your part to drive safely.
Every Labour Day long weekend, approximately four people die and 600 people are injured in 2,100 crashes throughout the province.*
The key to sharing the road safely is staying focused on driving and looking out for road users around you. Avoid distractions which will take your eyes off the road and your mind off driving. Police across B.C. are cracking down on distracted drivers as part of this month’s enforcement and education campaign.
Top 4 tips:
If you find it difficult to take a break from your phone while driving, turn it to silent and keep it out of reach and out of sight. You can help keep your family and friends safe by not texting, calling or answering if you know they’re behind the wheel.
Allow at least two seconds of following distance between vehicles in good road conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads. Increase your distance when you’re following a large vehicle such as an RV (it can block your vision) or a motorcycle (it can stop quicker than a car).
With trucks and RVs, keep clear of their blind spots. When following, you should be able to see both mirrors of the RV or truck in front of you. If you’re behind a slow moving RV or truck climbing up a hill, leave extra space and be patient as they’re probably trying their best to keep up with the flow of traffic.
Check road conditions at DriveBC.ca before you leave. Be realistic about travel times and accept delays that may arise. Don’t rush to make up time – slow down to reduce your risk of crashing and arrive at your destination safely. You also save fuel by driving at a steady speed.
Regional statistics over Labour Day weekend:
On Vancouver Island, on average, 72 people are injured in 310 crashes every year.
In the Southern Interior, on average, 70 people are injured in 320 crashes every year.
In the North Central region, on average, 20 people are injured in 110 crashes every year.
In the Lower Mainland, on average, 440 people are injured in 1,300 crashes every year.
More than one in four fatal crashes on B.C. roads involve distracted driving, which is why police and ICBC continue to combat this dangerous driving behaviour that claims 76 lives each year.*
Since B.C.’s distracted driving law came into effect in January 2010, more than 430,000 infractions have been issued to drivers for using an electronic device while driving. Some drivers didn’t get the message the first time, as between January 2010 and March 2020:
44,000 drivers have received two tickets for distracted driving
12,000 have received three tickets
4,200 have received four tickets
65 drivers have received 10 tickets
This month, drivers will be hearing one message – leave your phone alone when you’re behind the wheel.
Police across B.C. are ramping up distracted driving enforcement during September, and community volunteers are setting up Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to leave their phone alone. The campaign also features new digital and radio advertising.
Drivers can do their part by avoiding distractions while driving and encouraging others to do the same. Activate Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature or what’s similarly available on other devices.
You can get tips and statistics in an infographic at icbc.com.
Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee
“Distracted driving continues to be the number one cause of police-reported crashes in British Columbia. If your eyes aren’t on the road, and you are not fully focused on driving, you are distracted. Every second counts when you are behind the wheel, and being distracted for just a second could be the difference between life and death. Police are passionate about making our roads safer, and the distracted driving campaign is an excellent way to educate the community on the risks associated with distracted driving.”
Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President Public Affairs & Driver Licensing
“Using electronic devices, like smartphones, is one of the most common and riskiest forms of distracted driving. Even short glances away from the road increases your risk of crashing. Safer roads start with every driver making a conscious decision to focus on the road and leave their phones alone. Let’s all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.”
Every year, on average, 26 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland.
Every year, on average, nine people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island.
Every year, on average, 29 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior.
Every year, on average, 12 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the North Central region.
*Police data from 2014 to 2018. 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.
There’s an old joke that there are only two seasons in Saskatchewan; winter and road construction. But law enforcement weren’t joking around when they wrote 224 tickets for violations in work zones in July.
Disobeying speed limits in highway construction zones is a serious concern. Passing highway workers — or highway equipment with its warning lights flashing — in a marked construction zone means drivers are required to slow to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit. For July, police across Saskatchewan reported:
- 195 tickets were issued for exceeding 60 km/h when passing highway workers or occupied highway equipment within a work zone,
- 15 tickets were issued for exceeding 60 km/h when passing a highway worker or flag person,
- 2 tickets for exceeding 60 km/h when passing occupied highway equipment,
- 4 tickets for exceeding 60 km/h when passing highway equipment with warning lights in operation, and
- 8 tickets for failing to obey the directions of a flag person.
The July Traffic Safety Spotlight focused on providing a safe working environment for the people who build and fix our roads. Watch this video with Shantel Lipp of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association where she explains the perils faced by construction workers from speeding and reckless drivers.
Summer is not over, and neither is construction season. Speeding through construction zones results in extra-expensive tickets (driving 100 km/h in a 60 km/h orange zone will cost the offender $1,008), so when you #SeeOrangeSlowDown and use the few extra moments of your journey to think about all the things you can do with the money you didn’t have to spend on a ticket.
Law enforcement also reported the following results in July:
- 7,333 other aggressive driving or speeding offences;
- 798 distracted driving offences, including 684 for cellphone use while driving; and
- 609 seatbelt and child restraint offences. (If you’re not wearing a seatbelt, you greatly increase your risk of being ejected like this — and seriously hurt or killed — in a collision.
Police also reported 474 impaired driving offences in July, including 382 Criminal Code offences.While impaired driving collisions, injuries and fatalities in Saskatchewan have declined over the past decade, the fight against impaired driving is not over, and enforcement remains very strong. SGI and law enforcement continue to focus on impaired driving with the August Traffic Safety Spotlight. However you choose to enjoy the final days of summer, always ensure you make a plan for a safe ride home.
August 7, 2020
With Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan progressing and more British Columbians returning to B.C.’s roads and highways, three of the temporary measures ICBC had introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are now set to expire in the coming weeks.
The B.C. Utilities Commission had approved ICBC implementing the following measures starting April 23 and ending on August 20:
waiving of the $30 insurance cancellation charge
suspension of fleet vehicle insurance
allowance of unlimited deliveries by drivers in non-delivery rate classes
Private passenger vehicles continue to have up to six days per month for delivery use.
Customers are now reinsuring their vehicles at higher than historic levels. Since April 23, 2020, a total of 300,000 new plate policies have been issued for non-fleet customers compared with the approximately 120,000 non-fleet customers who cancelled their insurance policies for the same time period.
As these measures come to an end on August 20, customers are encouraged to talk to their broker to ensure they are properly insured, including those people who are using their vehicle for the delivery of food or medical products and services.
The following measures remain in place at this time, as outlined in regulation:
waiving of the $18 re-plating fee
waiving of the first knowledge test fee for learner driver’s licence holders whose licence expired during the pandemic
Customers can continue to renew their insurance by phone and email with the help of brokers, and those who are facing financial hardship and who pay for their insurance on a monthly basis still have the ability to defer their payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.
ICBC continues to review its operations to support the safety and well-being of its customers and employees as normal business resumes.