ICBC urges drivers and cyclists to watch out for each other

With crashes involving cyclists peaking during the summer, ICBC is urging drivers and cyclists to take extra care on our roads as we near Bike to Work Week (May 29 to June 4).

As ridership increases in the summer, so does the number of cyclist-related crashes. In B.C., 740 cyclists are injured and seven are killed in car crashes from June to September every year. That means six cyclists are injured every day during the summer months in B.C.*

“We sponsor Bike to Work Week as an opportunity to educate both drivers and cyclists alike,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “It’s part of our commitment to support programs in communities throughout the province. Whether you’re on a bike or in a car, please look out for each other and share the road.”

ICBC has invested approximately $1.75 million in 124 cycling-related road improvement projects in B.C. from 2014 to 2016.

Tips for drivers:

  • Don’t get distracted. Watch for cyclists on the road and make eye contact if you can, so they can anticipate your next move.

  • Yield the right-of-way. Yield to cyclists and signal well in advance if you need to cross a designated bike lane or pull over to the side of the road.

  • Look out. Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left. Scan for cyclists before you enter the roadway from an alley or get in and out of a parking spot.

  • Dooring is dangerous. Both drivers and passengers must shoulder check for cyclists before opening doors. Not only will it keep cyclists safe, it will help you avoid a dooring violation and fine too.

  • Keep a safe distance. Maintain at least three seconds behind cyclists and at least one metre when passing a cyclist. Don’t risk side-swiping or running a cyclist off the road.

Tips for cyclists:

  • Start at the top. Wearing an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards is the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one. Focus on how it fits: it should be snug, but not uncomfortable, and should not be able to roll off of your head when the chin strap is secured.

  • Reflect on safety. Be extra visible with reflective gear on your bicycle pedals and wheels.

  • Bike lanes are best. Use designated bike routes whenever possible – they’re safer and reduce conflicts with vehicle traffic. Check your local municipality’s website for designated bike routes or visit TransLink.ca for maps of cycling routes in Metro Vancouver.

  • Stay off the sidewalk. If there’s no bike lane, keep to the right-hand side of the road as much as it’s safe to do so. It’s illegal to ride on most sidewalks and crosswalks. It puts pedestrians in danger and drivers don’t expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk.

  • Follow the rules of the road. Make sure you obey all traffic signs and signals and rules of the road.

  • Use caution around parked vehicles. Be aware of people in vehicles as well as taxis to avoid getting hit by an opening door. It’s best to keep at least once metre away from parked vehicles.

  • Shoulder check. Before making any turns, shoulder check and hand signal in advance. Remember, drivers sometimes fail to yield right-of-way.

For more information about cycling, and videos about these tips visit our cycling safety page on icbc.com.

ICBC has been investing in road safety education since 1976 and providing community grants since 2008. Our Community Grants Program supports community organizations with their road safety and injury recovery initiatives.

Regional statistics:*

  • In the Lower Mainland, on average, 1100 cyclists are injured and five killed every year.

  • On Vancouver Island, on average, 310 cyclists are injured and three killed every year.

  • In the Southern Interior, on average, 160 cyclists are injured and three killed every year.

  • In the North Central region, on average, 28 cyclists are injured every year.

*Based on a five-year average using 2011 to 2015 police fatality and ICBC injury data.

​​Media contact:

Lindsay Olsen​
604-982-4759

Yield for pedestrians, respect the crosswalk, and wear your helmet

Police issued 12 tickets during April’s traffic safety focus on pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

There were:

  • Seven tickets for drivers failing to yield or stop for pedestrians, or passing a vehicle that is stopped for a pedestrian.
  • Four tickets for pedestrians disobeying crosswalk signals, or walking into the path of a vehicle.
  • 1 ticket for a motorcyclist failing to wear a helmet.

In addition, police reported 5,025 speeding/aggressive driving offences, 294 impaired driving-related offences, 320 distracted driving offences (251 of those for cellphone use) and 295 seatbelt/car seat/booster seat violations in April1.

With temperatures rising, more people will be taking advantage of the warm weather. Motorists should remember to #LookOut for those who are out walking and riding. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are reminded to stay alert and walk, bike, and ride with caution. They are also reminded to obey the rules of the road, and not take their right of way for granted.

View more information on vulnerable road users, including tips for sharing the road and guidelines around required gear for new motorcyclists.

And remember to #DriveSober, Saskatchewan! Police remain focused on impaired driving throughout May. Watch SGI’s new impaired driving prevention commercial and read about the 12 real Saskatchewan people it features at sgi.sk.ca/disappear.

Follow SGI on Facebook and Twitter for safety tips to #TakeCareOutThere.

Cars and bikes: learn to coexist on the road

Sunny days are on the way, which is a joy for avid cyclists, who can at last get back on their bikes. It’s also the beginning of the sometimes strained relationships between cyclists and drivers. Sharing the road is a sensitive subject. Quite often the responsibility for accidents is shared between cyclists and drivers. For riders and drivers, sharing the road safely is everybody’s concern. Here are a few pointers for getting along successfully.

Road cyclists can never be too careful

In discussions with drivers, they sometime say that cyclists are at fault for accidents. So here are a few reminders for cyclists:

  • Keep visible at all times: It’s the rider’s responsibility to ensure that cars see them when they’re on the road. Gear up with reflectors and active lighting (a white light on the front and red in back) when riding at night. And when you pedal in the day, don’t hesitate to where colourful clothes. The one rule to keep in mind is this: the more visible you are, the safer you are.
  • Follow the sense of direction: This may seem obvious, but riding against the flow of traffic is a frequent cause of accidents on both two-way and one-way streets. The sense of direction applies equally to bikes and cars, so don’t do what you would never find yourself doing behind the wheel of a car.
  • Respect the Code of the Road: This means stopping at red lights! Even if the path looks clear. Nobody is insusceptible to slight inattention or misjudging vehicles that arrive faster than anticipated.
  • Make bike paths your priority choice: As bike paths are made for cyclists, they are safer than main streets, so use them as much as possible. Before heading out on the road, consult a map for the bike paths in your city.
  • Get yourself a mirror: A bike mirror helps you confirm if a vehicle or another cyclist is coming up behind you, keeping you more aware and able to adapt your riding as a result.
  • Establish eye contact: Always try to make visual contact with car drivers around you to ensure that they see you and understand your intentions.
  • Invest in a GPS for bikes: Have you heard of SmartHalo? Developed in Montreal, this smart device guides cyclists around town easily and intuitively.

In the driver’s seat, stay alert at all times

In discussions with cyclists about sharing the road, they most often bring up their feelings of not really being considered by drivers, and therefore not truly safe. So here are a few recommendations for drivers:

  • Keep the potential presence of cyclists in mind: Quick, smaller and quieter than cars, it may not always be obvious that a cyclist is near. Always keep it in mind that a cyclist may appear at any moment.
  • Be attentive: Check your mirrors and always signal before turning. Be just as attentive when opening your door and check your blind spot when turning to ensure that the way is clear.
  • Keep your distance: If you pass a cyclist, make sure to keep a distance of at least one metre beside them.
  • Slow down at intersections: Check to the left and right even if the light is green. You can never be too cautious.
  • Be courteous and patient: Bicycles are more fragile than cars, so let cyclists pass, particularly when it’s raining or snowing.
  • Use the “Dutch Reach” when opening the door: This technique, taught during driver’s tests in Holland, consists of opening the door with the right hand. This basically forces the driver to make a rotational movement that allows them to take a glance behind them. This way, they can see if a cyclist is coming from behind.

On the road, it’s up to everyone to be responsible, as one moment of inattention can cost the life of a driver or rider. Being cautious and courteous and communicating your intentions clearly makes all the difference.

One act at a time, the city is becoming more safe and secure for everybody.

Did you know that bicycles are covered by home insurance? Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more! 

Source: www.belairdirect.com

 

Road Trip Checklist For This Long Weekend

Road Trip Checklist For This Long Weekend

By Jeff Youngs | JD Powers

Before setting off on a road trip, it is important to make sure that your vehicle is ready for a long journey, especially if your route passes through lightly populated areas off of the Interstate. Checking your vehicle’s basic functions and systems before departure can help to ensure a safe and smooth road trip.

  • Check the brakes. Your vehicle’s brakes are a critical component for any drive, whether heading across town or across the country. Make sure your car’s brakes are in good condition before your trip.
  • Check the tires. In addition to making sure you have a spare tire with you (unless your car has run-flat tires), be sure to inflate all tires, including the spare, to the recommended tire pressure before departure. Also, check for uneven tread wear, which indicates that an alignment or replacement tires might be necessary.
  • Check the lights and signals. Make sure your headlights, tail lights, brake lights and turn signals work properly.
  • Check the wiper blades and washer fluid. A new set of wiper blades is a good investment before any road trip. Also, be sure to top off your washer fluid before hitting the highway.
  • Check the engine coolant. If your engine coolant is old, it’s a good idea to replace it with new coolant. Be sure that your car is ready for extreme heat or extreme cold, depending on where you’re going and the time of year.
  • Check the fans, belts and hoses. Your car’s engine fan, belts and hoses are critical for engine cooling, so be sure they’re in good condition before your trip.
  • Check the battery. It’s easy to have your battery tested to make sure it’s ready for a road trip. If your battery is more than 3 years old, get it checked before departure.
  • Check the fluids. Make sure your car’s fluids are in good condition and are topped off. This includes the oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and the power steering fluid.
  • Bring basic tools. Make sure all of your vehicle’s tire-change tools are present and accounted for. Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to bring a basic set of tools that could help fix a minor problem during the trip.
  • Bring emergency provisions. Even if you perform every task on this road trip checklist, you could become stranded with a disabled vehicle. You will want to have emergency provisions aboard just in case this happens. Food and water are critical, but depending on the weather, you will also want appropriate clothing and accessories, like sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat for hot sunny areas or a blanket for cold regions.

Quebec – 2017 Worst Roads Campaign – And the “winners” are…

QUEBEC CITY, May 16, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – For the third year in a row, road users have spoken, voting in large numbers to draw up a list of the 10 worst roads in Quebec: the “winner” for 2017 is a stretch of rural road in the Laurentians. Once again, motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians have proved quite eloquently that they are intent on travelling on roads that are in good, safe condition.

The Top 10

 

Rank

Road

Municipality

Administrative region

1.

Chemin Kilmar*

Grenville-sur-la-Rouge

Laurentides

2.

Chemin Newton

Mascouche

Lanaudière

3.

Boulevard Gouin East*

Montreal

Montreal

4.

Rue Principale

Sainte-Julie

Montérégie

5.

Montée du Bois-Franc*

Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard

Laurentides

6.

Avenue D’Estimauville

Quebec City

Capitale-Nationale

7.

Chemin Saint-Thomas*

Sainte-Thècle

Mauricie

8.

Chemin Brunelle

Carignan

Montérégie

9.

Traverse de Laval*

Lac-Beauport

Capitale-Nationale

10.

Route du Portage

La Martre

Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine

 

Nearly 10,000 reports
Thousands of reports were posted from early April to early May by motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, all of whom wished to sent a clear message to authorities.

“The Worst Roads campaign is much more than a way for road users to let off steam!” says Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec’s Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs. “It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to make a real difference. Last year, for example, 9 of the 10 roads on our list were subsequently repaired or included in a medium- or long-term roadworks plan.”

“Repeat offenders”
Clearly, though, in the eyes of many of those who took part in the campaign, that isn’t enough. A number of the roads that made the 2017 Top 10 list (those marked with an asterisk in the table) had already rated a mention in 2015 or 2016. The message from voters is, authorities obviously need to pick up the slack. And one is left to wonder why these particular stretches of road remain on the list.

One such case is Chemin Kilmar in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, this year’s top finisher, with more than a thousand votes. This road led from start to finish during this year’s campaign, thanks to mobilization by users.

Montreal and Quebec City are well represented
No fewer than four of the Top 10 roads are in Montreal and its vicinity. They include Boulevard Gouin East: in this case, one committed citizen practically organized an election campaign to ensure her “favourite” dilapidated artery made the list.

In the Quebec City region, Avenue D’Estimauville and Traverse de Laval were singled out for their “minefields” of potholes. On Traverse de Laval, which connects the municipality of Lac-Beauport with Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval, certain measures have already been taken to remedy the situation.

The regions aren’t left out
The Laurentides, Gaspésie and Mauricie regions are all represented on this year’s “wall of shame.” Regional rankings are available for all regions where a significant number of votes was logged.

“You’ll be hearing from us”
Each of the cities that placed a stretch of road in the Top 10 has been notified in writing, with multiple follow-ups to be conducted in the months to come. CAA-Quebec plans to make sure that citizens’ messages are heard, and will monitor authorities’ intentions regarding improvements to be made to the roads on its list.

In 6 months’ time, CAA-Quebec will publish a summary report of work done or investments announced, which will reveal whether authorities have in fact been listening to Quebecers. To read what’s been happening with top finishers in previous Worst Roads campaigns, go here.

CAA-Quebec conducts this annual campaign as a way to give voice to road users and allow them to express priorities. “With motorists paying some $3 billion per year in taxes of various kinds, we all have the right to roads that are in decent condition. It’s a matter of big money, but also a matter of safety,” Ms. Gagnon concludes.

About CAA-Quebec
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization, provides all of its members with peace of mind by offering them high-quality automotive, travel, residential and insurance benefits, products and services.

SOURCE CAA-Québec

VPD Steps Up Enforcement in Support of Roadside Worker Safety

Today, the Vancouver Police Department is partnering with the Work Zone Safety Alliance and WorkSafeBC to kick off the seventh annual B.C. Cone Zone Campaign with an enforcement blitz at a roadside worksite on Burrard Street in Vancouver. Last year, one roadside worker died on the job and 21 were injured and missed time at work.

The B.C. Cone Zone Campaign coincides with the increase in roadside work throughout the province in the warmer months of the year. In the City of Vancouver, major road construction and repair projects will be as much as 25 percent greater than the same period in 2016.

Cone Zones are work areas set up by roadside workers to protect themselves and the driving public. Workers at risk include traffic-control persons, tow-truck operators, first responders and machine operators who work alongside or on roads in close proximity to traffic. Between 2007 and 2016, 15 roadside workers were killed and 229 were injured and missed time from work as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle.

“We want to remind drivers to slow down, pay attention to instructions from roadside workers, abide by temporary road signs and leave their phones alone,” says Trina Pollard, Manager of Industry and Labour Services, WorkSafeBC. “Every roadside worker deserves to make it home to their family at the end of their shift without injury.”

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their workers and are required to train and supervise their workers. Roadside workers can engage in safe work by:

  • Knowing how to identify hazards and assess risks
  • Following safe work procedures
  • Following set-up and take-down regulations
  • Wearing appropriate high-visibility garments
  • Reporting unsafe work conditions to their supervisor

Major projects underway during the 2017 spring and summer months include the Mountain Highway Interchange Project in North Vancouver, Hwy 91 at 72nd Ave. Interchange Project in Delta, Road Resurfacing on Highway H19 in the Campbell River area and the Burrard Corridor Infrastructure Upgrade in Vancouver.

Employers and workers can access online tools and resources at www.conezonebc.com and www.worksafebc.com/conezone.

About the Work Zone Safety Alliance:

The Cone Zone campaign is a joint provincial initiative supported by organizations committed to improving the safety of roadside workers. They are Ambulance Paramedics of B.C., Automotive Retailers Association, BCAA, B.C. Construction Safety Alliance, B.C. Flagging Association, B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association, B.C. Municipal Safety Association, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, City of Prince George, City of Surrey, Government of B.C., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 258, Insurance Corporation of B.C., Justice Institute of British Columbia, LiUNA Local 1611, RCMP, SafetyDriven, Telus, Lower Mainland Police and WorkSafeBC.

About WorkSafeBC:

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a board of directors that serves about 2.3 million workers and more than 225,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.

SOURCE Road Safety At Work

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