Slick roads lead to multiple crashes, including a 50 car pileup, on Calgary roads

By The Canadian Press

THE CANADIAN PRESS

CALGARY _ Roads in and around Calgary are slick, leading to more than 100 crashes _ including a 50-car pileup _ since a snowstorm went through Thursday.

Emergency crews responded around 9 a.m. Friday to a multi-vehicle crash on Stoney Trail between Chaparral Boulevard and Cranston Boulevard in the southern edge of the city.

It took five hours for crews to reopen the roadway Friday afternoon after more than 50 vehicles were involved in the pileup.

At least eight people were transported to hospital in stable condition.

Several drivers involved in the crash told CTV Calgary that a wall of thick fog made it difficult to see what was in front of their vehicle.

Roads are also extremely slippery, particularly on bridge decks, hills, intersections and exit ramps.

Officials are advising people to avoid driving, if possible, but say those who must travel should plan ahead, drive to the conditions and give crews room to work.

New online resources now available to address risks associated with distracted driving

 Press Release:

Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD) today launched a new web-based information hub at www.diad.tirf.ca/ehub. It was designed as a resource with tools to help governments and interested stakeholders develop effective strategies to reduce distracted driving. The hub contains the latest research, stats and data on distracted driving, laws and penalties in Canada, and a variety of educational tools and resources. This initiative is led by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), and its Drop It And Drive® program, in partnership with The Co-operators.

Despite increasing fines and penalties for distracted driving, nearly one in four fatal crashes in 2013 involved distraction. Concern continues to grow as an increasing number of jurisdictions across the country report that distraction is a leading factor in road fatalities. “All agencies are incredibly concerned about the safety of Canadians, their workforce, and their families and friends. Everyone has the same questions about the size of the problem, what is known, what data are available, and what strategies can reduce distracted driving,” said Robyn Robertson, TIRF president and CEO. “We designed the E-Hub so organizations can spend less time looking for answers and more time working on solutions.”

The CCDD is a coalition of concerned organizations that spans several sectors including education, enforcement, academia, government, health and industry, including insurance, automotive and trucking industries, and the not-for-profit sector. “As an insurer of over a million vehicles in Canada, we have a significant responsibility to educate Canadians about the risks posed by distracted driving. Consider that a driver traveling at 100km/hr travels the length of a hockey rink within just two seconds while distracted. It’s easy to see why distracted driving is a recipe for disaster,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “The work of the CCDD continues to provide actionable solutions that communities and workplaces can embrace to help resolve this growing issue, and make meaningful changes to protect drivers and pedestrians.”

In March 2017, the CCDD released a National Action Plan on Distracted Driving, and the new E-Hub was just one of the components. The E-Hub resource is housed on the newly designed Drop It And Drive® website at www.diad.tirf.ca. It contains a wealth of information that is relevant across sectors, disciplines and communities of practice. It includes summaries of more than 100 research studies and articles along with links to full studies and the organizations that produced them. Access is also provided to examples of educational resources and tools that are available, the latest data that have been published, and current laws and penalties across the country.

In addition to the fully bilingual fact sheets that were released by the CCDD in November, other elements of the Action Plan are also underway. A call to action for health practitioners was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Physical Sports Therapy. Work groups involving insurance, enforcement, the trucking industry and health professionals are being established to increase awareness in these sectors and build partnerships to reduce distracted driving. The third annual meeting of the CCDD is scheduled for Spring 2018 and will focus on technologies and their role in reducing distracted driving.

CCDD fact sheets

National Action Plan & 15-point Action Plan

About the Traffic Injury Research Foundation:
The mission of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. TIRF is an independent, charitable road safety research institute. Since its inception in 1964, TIRF has become internationally recognized for its accomplishments in identifying the causes of road crashes and developing programs and policies to address them effectively.

About The Co-operators: 
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $48 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit  www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

Collisions ICBC: Fancy Running Into You Here!

Intersection Crash

The latest edition of Quick Statistics has been published by ICBC. The new rounded data it contains is for the year 2016 and that year there were 330,000 collisions reported where 64,000 resulted in either injury or fatality. Over all, collision rates have steadily increased from 2011 to 2016.

After browsing through the document I see that ICBC issued 3,370,000 Autoplan and temporary policies. At first glance, that’s about one collision for every ten vehicles during the year. (If you want to do the research and the math, I’ll let you refine and justify that number.)

288 people died, down 7 from 2015, but still above the five year average of 285. To be included in these numbers, a motor vehicle had to be involved and the incident had to take place on a public road. Collisions involving only cyclists or cyclists and pedestrians are not tracked, possibly because there is no Autoplan claim involved.

Obviously, we run into each other a lot and many people are hurt, some fatally.

If you’re interested, the crash involvement lists animals (11,000), cyclists (2,100), heavy vehicles (15,000), hit & run (54,000), motorycles (2,600) and pedestrians (3,100).

Despite many years of education and enforcement, 58 fatal victims were not wearing their seatbelt. By now, you would think that everyone knew how to wear a seatbelt properly and that it must always be used to prevent being out of place when the airbag deploys.

Intersections are dangerous places as about one third of collisions occur there. Crash maps are available for the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Southern Interior and the North Central region intersections in B.C.

Why are these crashes happening? ICBC attributes them to five broad reasons: speed, impaired driving, distracted driving, high risk driving and driving too fast for conditions. For fatal crashes speed is the primary contributing factor in 30% of them, followed by distracted driving at 28% and impaired driving at 22%.

High-risk driving behaviour includes failing to yield right of way, following too closely, ignoring a traffic control device, improper passing and speed.

Our government announced the move toward a Vision Zero model for reducing collisions in January 2016. The introduction explains:

British Columbia’s goal is to have the safest roads in North America by 2020. In line with the Vision Zero movement, the ultimate goal is to eliminate motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries. The British Columbia vision will be achieved by: targeting key areas of concern; advancing the Safe System Approach; continuing with the implementation of the BC Road Safety Strategy; and enhancing road safety research capacity in the province. Improved communication and engagement with all British Columbia citizens, particularly local communities, stakeholders, and First Nations, is essential for moving toward Vision Zero .

Better road safety is not achieved by accident; it is created through deliberate, innovative, and evidence – driven practices. Step by step, kilometre by kilometre , British Columbia’s roads can be made safer for everyone.

The responsibility for reducing these significant numbers ultimately lies with you and me. A great place to start would be a return to an attitude of respect for each other when we share the highway. Otherwise, we’ll continue to say “fancy running into you here!”

Stop the presses! Icy roads don’t cause crashes; shitty drivers do

HERGOTT LAW – Icy Roads Don’t Cause Crashes

Hergott Law logoPaul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer that practices in Kelowna are regularly writes on road safety. One of his latest articles compares the newspaper headline “Dangerously icy roads lead to crashes” with “Deep water leads to drowning.” His position is that we need to grumble and complain about drivers who fail to use good winter tires and who overdrive the conditions. Not about the naturally occurring ice and snow.

I cringe every time I see these “fake news” headlines which all news media seem to be guilty of:

  • “Dangerously icy roads lead to crashes” (CBC – Nov. 15, 2017);
  • “Icy conditions causing havoc on Kelowna area roads” (Capital News – Dec. 3, 2017);
  •  “Icy road leads to crash” (Castanet – Nov. 4, 2017)

Do you ever see these analogous headlines:

  • “Deep water leads to drowning”;
  • “Watery depths cause havoc on the beach”; or
  • “Sunny weather leads to drowning death”?

Don’t they sound nonsensical!

Read Full Article Here: 

Source: DriveSmartBC

 

VIDEO – Roundabouts: Driving Lesson

Rick August of Smart Drive Test introduces us to the roundabout or traffic circle.

Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites

Restorative Justice: An Alternative to the Traffic Ticket

Scales of JusticeQuite some time ago I wrote about an initiative to trade your ticket for driver training. I was very pleased with the outcome of the one instance that I tried on my own, but the program never took off as the provincial government required the RCMP to provide it to all drivers if it was implemented. The Victoria Police Department is trying something similar through Restorative Justice Victoria.

An article in the Victoria Times Colonist reports that Cst. Sean Millard implemented his idea as a pilot project that exchanged a distracted driving ticket for a 3 hour restorative justice session on December 10, 2017.

32 drivers ranging in age from 20 to 60 chose to participate instead of paying the $543 fine.

These drivers completed cognitive tests that demonstrated how difficult simple tasks become when you’re distracted. They heard personal stories, including those of a retired firefighter who talked about having to pry people out of vehicles in crashes caused by distracted driving.

Karen Bowman, who founded Drop It and Drive ran parts of the workshop. In founding Drop It and Drive Karen developed a program delivery method to achieve behavioural change through imparting knowledge, science and practical, usable tools in a highly efficient and engaging manner.

Restorative justice helps people understand how their actions affect others to create long-lasting change. The programs, if they exist in your community, are run by volunteers.

Participation in a restorative justice program like this one starts with a referral by the police, and this is likely going to be the biggest hurdle. One traffic court judicial justice that I have spoken with commented on officer resistance to step outside the normal procedure for dealing with ticket disputes, even when suggested by the court.

Referral also depends on having an appropriate program in place with your restorative justice group along with the needed volunteers to deliver it. If you want to make a difference in your community, consider volunteering.

Starting with Road Safety Vision in 2001, Canada’s national road safety strategy contained public education initiatives and targeted high risk driving behaviour. Known as the Road Safety Strategy 2025 today, this restorative justice program neatly fits that target and recognizes that the traffic ticket is not the only way to change driving behaviour for the better.

Should we have to take drivers by the hand and explain to them that distracted driving is dangerous and they should not do it? I think not, but part of the problem is that we tend to let our behaviours change to suit our perceived risk. If you cannot leave your phone alone, then the more effective ways that there are to convince you that you should, the better off we’ll all be.

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