182 motorists caught speeding in work zones during July Traffic Safety Spotlight

News release:

182 motorists caught speeding in work zones during July Traffic Safety Spotlight

Aug. 28, 2017

July was another busy month for law enforcement as they focused on catching drivers speeding in both municipal and highway work zones. During the monthly Traffic Safety Spotlight, 182 tickets were issued in construction zones, all related to speeding1:

  • 177 tickets for exceeding 60 km/h while passing highway workers or occupied highway equipment within a work zone
  • 5 tickets for speeding in construction zones where a flag person is present

As there are still many road construction projects across the province, SGI reminds motorists to obey speed limits and exercise caution when driving in work zones. If the work zone is signed, drivers must slow to the posted speed limits, regardless of whether workers are present. Base fines for speeding in a construction zone are triple that of a regular speeding ticket.

Other results from July’s Traffic Safety Spotlight:

  • 5,514 tickets for speeding or aggressive driving
  • 522 tickets for inappropriate or no seatbelt/child restraint
  • 462 tickets for distracted driving (including 337 for cellphone use)
  • 382 impaired driving offences (including 327 Criminal Code charges)

Follow SGI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for tips on how to #TakeCareOutThere with other road users.

Learn more about work zones and speeding.

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Why is Everyone in the Left Lane?

More and more often when I drive on a busy highway I’m finding much of the traffic jammed into the left lane, each driver trying unsuccessfully to get ahead of the others. One would think that this situation would be akin to being the proverbial kid in the candy store for anyone in traffic law enforcement, violations everywhere! Slower traffic failing to keep right, following too closely, unsafe lane change, cross single solid line, failing to signal lane change and, depending on your point of view, the root cause of much of this: attempting to exceed the speed limit.

No one likes a left lane blocker. This statement is not proven by enforcement activity however. There were a grand total of 24 tickets written under section 150(2) MVA in the entire province for failing to move right in 2015. We’ll see if anything has changed with the introduction of section 151.1 MVA when I receive ticket data for 2016 from ICBC.

If you missed it, this is the new law requiring that you exit the leftmost lane when another vehicle approaches from behind when you are driving on highways with a posted speed of 80 km/h or higher and traffic is moving at a speed of at least 50 km/h. There are exemptions to this, no need to move over if you are using an HOV lane, preparing for a left turn, passing another vehicle, allowing someone to merge, or following the slow down, move over law.

When I worked traffic enforcement I always saw following too closely as the greater evil when compared to failing to move over. This may be the prevailing view because there were 2,400 tickets for this written to the drivers of light vehicles and 34 to drivers of commercial vehicles in 2015. The driver in front was often already driving faster than the posted speed limit and that indicated to me that the tailgater was trying to go faster still. No sense hanging back at a safe distance and hoping the driver in front will move over, is there?

Crossing a single solid white line to change lanes is forbidden. Those who are trying to get ahead using the HOV lane are frequent violators. They will move out of the HOV lane, pass on the right using the leftmost or “fast” lane and then move back into the HOV lane again. About 1,800 of these violation tickets were issued in 2015.

Please, tell me that you are going to change lanes by using your signal light, preferably in advance of doing it. A defensive driver always signals, even when they think that they are the only vehicle on the road. 1,800 tickets were issued to those that failed in this task in 2015.

That leaves us with speeding. Speed related charges amounted to 163,213 in 2015, That’s almost 37% of all tickets issued that year. This is a reduction compared to 2014 where 176,320 or about 39% of tickets were for speeding in some form.

Perhaps it’s time to let automated enforcement deal with some of those speeding tickets and have the police refocus their attention on dangerous behaviours that need to be dealt with in person.

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.

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More than one quarter of Canadians want to hold on to their driver’s licence past 85 years of age

AURORA, ON, Aug. 2, 2017 /CNW/ – As Canadian boomers age, the number of elderly drivers on our roads increases. Statistics Canada’s 2016 census reveals that those 65 years of age and over now outnumber those 14 years of age and under for the first time ever. But vital conversations about how to determine when a person is unfit to drive are difficult.

According to a recent national survey from State Farm Canada, one in ten respondents has been in a collision involving a senior citizen. And while 94 per cent of respondents believe that individuals should speak with senior family members about giving up their licence if they are concerned about their safety, only 2 per cent of seniors surveyed said that a family member has had that conversation with them.

In a 2011 report, Transport Canada stated that drivers aged 65 and over represent 17 per cent of fatalities though they only account for 14 per cent of licensed drivers1. And the rate of fatalities per distance travelled increases considerably at age 75. As seniors age, they are more likely to develop physical and cognitive infirmities.

“Canadians are conflicted when it comes to the balance between road safety and the autonomy associated with driving.” says John Bordignon, Media Relations, State Farm Canada. “These are extremely difficult discussions for families to have. When a person is deemed unfit to drive, it can feel like a sudden loss of independence. To make the transition easier, it’s important for family members to have supportive conversations early on and explore transportation alternatives over time, so that changes in lifestyle come gradually.”

Tough Conversations
Just 33 per cent of respondents to State Farm Canada’s survey say that they have had a conversation with a senior family member about giving up their licence due to concerns about safety, but when those conversations occur they don’t always go well.

Of those respondents who say they have spoken with a senior family member about giving up their licence, nearly 80 per cent said that they faced resistance from the family member.

When asked what they believe to be the biggest factors keeping seniors from giving up their licence, 74 per cent said a loss of independence, 12 per cent said a lack of awareness about the warning signs of driving incapacity, 6 per cent said lack of public transportation, and 4 per cent said the cost of taxis.

A Driver’s Age 
According to research conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation in 2016, drivers aged 65 and older are over-represented in crashes, particularly those aged 80 and older2. Partly because seniors are more susceptible to injury and less likely to survive a serious collision than younger drivers. Drivers 65 and over are also susceptible to age-related declines in reaction time and mobility, and can be affected by factors such as heart disease, visual impairment, dementia, and impairment due to prescription medication.

“When reviewing the evidence, it becomes clear that elderly drivers are overrepresented in fatal and severe crashes due to a variety of factors associated with advancing age”, explains Ward Vanlaar. Chief Operating Officer of TIRF. “One solution is identifying health issues that affect driving ability and having conversations with family members about looking for alternatives. Ensuring a senior can continue to drive safely will have positive effects on their quality of life, but there comes a time when it might be safer to let someone else take the wheel.”

Hanging up the Keys
The State Farm Canada survey indicates that Canadian seniors are reluctant to give up their keys with 26 per cent saying they want to hold onto their licence past 85 years of age.

So when the time finally comes, what are the factors that would lead someone to give up their licence? According to respondents 65 years of age and older, the three biggest factors affecting their decision are advice from a medical professional (94 per cent), concerned family members and friends (27 per cent), and a collision (14 per cent).

Additional Resources
This is the second of three news releases State Farm Canada will distribute in 2017 revealing survey results and the opinions of Canadians about their driving habits and road safety.

To find out more about how State Farm works to improve road safety in Canada, please visit www.statefarm.ca/autosafety

About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in March 2017, polled 3,581 respondents of driving age across Canada.

About State Farm
In January 2015, State Farm’s Canadian operations were purchased by Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and among the three largest P&C insurance providers in Canada. With its approximately 500 dedicated agents and 1700 employees, the State Farm division provides insurance and financial services products including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, visit www.statefarm.ca, join us on Facebook – www.facebook.com/statefarmcanada, or follow us on Twitter – www.twitter.com/statefarmcanada.

®State Farm and related trademarks and logos are registered trademarks owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, used under licence by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company and certain of its affiliates.

©Copyright 2017, Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company.

1 Road Safety in Canada, Transport Canada, https://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/roadsafety/tp15145e.pdf.

2 The Role of Driver Agein Fatally injured Driversin Canada, Traffic Injury Research Foundation, http://tirf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/The-Role-of-Driver-Age-in-Fatally-Injured-Drivers-2000-2013-13.pdf

SOURCE State Farm

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