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.

B.C.’s Graduated Licensing Program – New Driver Licence Restrictions

New Driver SignsB.C.’s Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) was implemented to develop driving skills in a safe, step by step manner. Today, they are a widely accepted, effective safety measure. The systems that have been evaluated have been found to be very effective in reducing crashes and injuries, and public acceptance is high.

In the beginning a driver earns a Learner Driver licence that is subject to a set of restrictions that mandates the presence of an instructor and sets passenger restrictions to reduce the possibility of distractions. There are hours of the day restrictions as well, although midnight to 5:00 am is probably a time when most of them are sound asleep by personal choice.

After a year of practice with a supervisor and passing a road test the GLP Learner becomes a Novice and restrictions are relaxed in comparison to the Learner. A passenger restriction of one person applies unless the Novice is accompanied by an instructor.

In the case of both the Learner and the Novice restrictions of zero blood alcohol, prohibition on the use of electronic devices while drivingand the requirement to display a new driver sign apply.

After passing another road test, the successful Novice will be issued a full privilege driver’s licence. Of course, any driver may be the subject of restrictions if there is a need for them. Examples of these restrictions include such things a the requirement to wear corrective lenses or to be fitted with a prosthesis or leg brace. This document lists the possible restrictions on page 115.

At the onset of the GLP program new drivers who disobeyed any of the restrictions were ticketed under section 25(15) of the Motor Vehicle Act. A conviction carried both a fine and penalty points.

As new drivers are subject to lower thresholds for prohibition from accumulated penalty points there was soon a large number of new drivers who had lost their licences for failing to display new driver signs. The solution was to implement division 30.13 and later division 30.10 in the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations which did not result in penalty points for failing to display, only fines.

Police were encouraged to use the new regulation for driver sign violators instead of section 25(15).

Of B.C.’s 3.3 million licenced drivers, over a quarter million of them are Learner or Novice drivers. That’s about 1 in 12. I suspect that we should be seeing more new driver signs displayed on vehicles around us as we drive.

Of course that depends on who you ask. There are many opinions about the display of new driver signs, including some well qualified people who feel that the N sign should not be required.

This article was actually prompted by the inquiry from a friend whose teenaged daughter asked him for permission to ride with friends contrary to their licence restrictions. He refused to give her permission and began to search for what the repercussions would be if she did not follow the rules thinking that they would be serious ones.

Really, the worst thing that can happen aside from a ticket under 25(15) for the driver is having the police prohibit the driver from proceeding until licence conditions are met. He could receive a telephone summons to come and pick up his daughter from the side of the highway.

Many of our problems on the highway result from people who treat the rules as something to follow as long as it is convenient. If it isn’t convenient, they do as they please. Sadly, this lesson is one that is passed down easily and followed without further thought by new drivers.

Link:

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.
ICBC urges: Slow down this Victoria Day long weekend

ICBC urges: Slow down this Victoria Day long weekend

As B.C. roads are expected to be busy with the unofficial start of the summer road trip season this May long weekend, ICBC and police are asking drivers to slow down and maintain a safe speed now and throughout summer.

Crashes and injuries increase on long weekends because of many factors, including unsafe speed as people may be rushing to reach their destination. Last year over the Victoria Day long weekend, 490 people were hurt in 1,900 crashes in B.C.

That’s why ICBC and police are launching an education and enforcement campaign to tie in with Victoria Day weekend. Province-wide police will be out on B.C. roads targeting high-risk driving behaviours and Speed Watch volunteers will be set up in communities across B.C. to encourage drivers to slow down.

Here are ICBC’s top driving tips to keep you safe this long weekend and all summer:

  • Let others into your lane: Don’t speed up as someone is trying to pass you. Help the other driver get into your lane by slowing down and making room.

  • Slow down: Posted speed limits are intended for ideal conditions. On uneven or wet roads, and in bad weather conditions, slow down and increase your following distance to at least four seconds.

  • Plan ahead: Allow extra time to get to your destination. Avoid rushing by planning your route in advance. Be realistic about your travel time. If you’re going to be later than expected, be patient and accept the delay.

  • Scan intersections: The majority of crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists happen in intersections, so it’s important to approach all intersections cautiously.

  • Prepare your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle’s ready for the trip. Don’t drive with badly worn or under-inflated tires. Keep the wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility.

  • Watch for other road users: As the days get longer and the weather gets nicer, pay extra attention to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

  • Leave your phone alone: No call or text is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Remember using a phone at a stop light is prohibited. If you have to take a call, pull over when it’s safe; stay focused on the road and keep the conversation brief. Make sure you’re focused on driving before re-entering traffic.

Regional statistics*:

  • Last year, 330 people were injured in 1,200 crashes throughout the Lower Mainland over the Victoria Day long weekend.
  • Last year, 52 people were injured in 290 crashes throughout the Vancouver Island over the Victoria Day long weekend.
  • Last year, 69 people were injured in 270 crashes throughout the Southern Interior over the Victoria Day long weekend.
  • Last year, 38 people were injured in 140 crashes throughout the North Central region over the Victoria Day long weekend.

​*Victoria Day long weekend is calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to Victoria Day to midnight Monday. Injured victims and crashes from 2016 ICBC data.​

Media contact

​Lindsay Olsen​
604-982-4759

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