Don’t let Halloween become a nightmare – Drive Smart tips from ICBC

Halloween is meant to be a fun celebration, but it can also be risky if parents, children and drivers don’t take precautions. Last Halloween, there were 950 crashes, resulting in 280 injuries in B.C.*

With Halloween celebrations starting this weekend, here are ICBC’s tips to help keep ghosts and goblins of all ages safe:

Drive Smart tips

  • Stay well below the speed limit: Drive well below the speed limit in residential areas, especially between 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the peak period for trick-or-treating. A car going 30 km/hr needs about travels 18 metres – the length of four cars – in order to come to a complete stop. Driving at a lower speed will give you more time to stop in case a child runs across the street unexpectedly.

  • Scan as you drive: Children may be walking in unexpected places like driveways, alleys and parking lots. Drive slowly and be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice.

  • Don’t roll through stop signs or intersections: Come to a full stop at all intersections take the time to scan crosswalk and street corners. Small children can be difficult to see, especially when wearing a dark costume.

  • Do not pass a slow or stopped vehicle: Have patience on Halloween night. Many drivers will be driving slowly to watch out for trick-or-treaters. If a car is slowing down or stopped in front of you, don’t try to pass the car. They may be stopping to let children cross the road, or stopping for something else you cannot see.

Tips to keep kids safe

  • Make sure the costume fits: A costume that’s too big or small could cause a child to trip and fall, causing injury.

  • Be bright to be seen: Many costumes are quite dark, making your child less visible at night. Try to nudge your child toward a lighter costume. Add reflective tape to their outfit and treat bag, and get them to use a flashlight or headlamp to help them stand out in the dark.

  • Create a safe route: If your kids are trick-or-treating without you, plan a safe route for your children and their friends. The best route should be familiar, well-established, direct and away from busy main roads. Establish a return time.

  • Travel in groups: Organize a group to trick-or-treat together. Walking in a group will make you and your children more visible to drivers.

  • Follow the rules of the road: Always walk on sidewalks and cross only at crosswalks when travelling with your child. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far to the edge as possible, facing traffic. For older children that are trick-or-treating with friends, review the rules and remind them to work their way up one side of the street, instead of crossing back and forth.

  • Consider other ways to celebrate: Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, consider hosting a Halloween party for your child and their friends, attending a Halloween party if offered at local community centres, or taking your child to a local shopping centre that offers trick-or-treating opportunities in a well-lit, controlled environment.

Tips for adults to celebrate safely

  • Plan for a safe ride home: If your Halloween celebrations involve alcohol, make a plan before you head out. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options to get home safely—call a taxi, take transit or call a sober friend.

  • Light fireworks safely: In areas that allow the purchase of fireworks, light your fireworks in a clear, open and safe space. Lighting fireworks on the road is not safe for you or drivers.

Regional statistics*

  • In 2017, there were 600 crashes and 200 injured on Halloween in the Lower Mainland.

  • In 2017, there were 140 crashes and 27 injured on Halloween on Vancouver Island.

  • In 2017, there were 120 crashes and 30 injured on Halloween in the Southern Interior.

  • In 2017, there were 66 crashes and 13 injured on Halloween in the North Central region.

*Crashes and injuries are from ICBC 2017 data for the 24-hour period on October 31.

UBC researchers call on province to roll back 120 km/h speed limits on 1,300 km of roads

Read more

5 drivers with no insurance, licence pulled over in St. John’s region

One woman was on a Canada-wide driving ban; police impounded all of the vehicles

CBC News 

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

Shift Into Winter Before You Get Behind the Wheel

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 careKeep 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.

Quotes:

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 McCaskillDirector, 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.

About 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

#DriveSmartBC: Resistance to Roundabouts

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.

Flashing lights

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.

Share your comments by e-mail.

Saskatchewan making speed cameras permanent after seeing pilot program results

REGINA _ Saskatchewan is going to made photo speed enforcement permanent following a pilot project the government says showed positive results.

The pilot was launched about three years ago and saw speed cameras in Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.

The province says the number of speeding drivers has gone down in the tested areas, both in high-speed locations and school zones, resulting in fewer collisions and injuries.

The locations were marked with prominent signs, and the province says that will continue.

It also says there will be a warning period with any new location before tickets are issued.

Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, says it was evident as the pilot program continued that speeds were coming down.

“It’s been a really positive effect. And with those fewer casualties and injuries on the roads, that’s very positive,” Hargrave said.

“We know that just makes it safer.”

The government says the program achieved its target of less than one per cent of drivers violating the speed limit, on average, at the high-speed locations where the cameras were tested.

At school zones, the number of collisions resulting in casualties dropped by seven per year.

The province says the decision to continue using the cameras means they can be used at additional sites, which will be determined by a committee.

It says the committee will include representatives from government, SGI, RCMP, municipal police, urban and rural municipal associations and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.

The committee will also oversee allocation of money from a new Provincial Traffic Safety Fund, made up of revenue from tickets generated through the program. The money will be divided according to a formula between general revenue, covering program expenses and traffic safety initiatives.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest