What do I Have to Tell Police During a Traffic Stop?

Ticket WriterWhat do you have to tell police when you are the subject of a traffic stop? I’ve often been asked about whether you have to answer the casual conversation at a road check that might include questions like Where are you coming from? Where are you going to? How much have you had to drink tonight? The answer is no, you don’t.

Occasionally I would stop a driver who had committed a traffic violation that would roll down their driver’s window half an inch, poke their driver’s licence out and roll the window back up to await service of a ticket. There are a multitude of reasons for doing this, most innocent, but the first thing that had to come to my mind was that they were trying to hide something and it was my job to find out. It was usually the odour of liquor that the driver did not want wafted in my direction.

I did have one tool at my disposal to force a short conversation. A driver must state his name and address and the name and address of the vehicle’s registered owner when requested to do so by police. This is also useful for what is known as the Shriver’s Test. Case law has established that these answers, when compared to what is shown on the driver’s licence, strengthens the identification of the driver if they match.

Answers to other questions are optional and it is up to you to decide whether you want to provide the information or not. If you choose not to, state your position politely and request that any documents be returned to you so that you may proceed once the officer has completed his or her inquiries.

Reference Links:

 

  • 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 ten 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 site.

Keep kids safe on our roads this summer, ICBC urges drivers and parents

Source: ICBC

Hot weather came early to B.C. this year but that means even more children will be playing outside now that school’s getting out for summer break. Road safety is not always top of mind for kids so it’s important to go over the rules of the road if you’re a parent and pay extra attention when you’re behind the wheel, especially around playgrounds and residential areas.

Child-cyclist-safetyOn average, 153 child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year in B.C.*

Top tips for drivers:

  • Slow down: With more children playing outside in the summer, be cautious and watch your speed, especially near playgrounds, parks and in residential areas. Playground speed limits remain in effect year-round.

  • Watch for clues: In residential areas, a hockey net or ball can mean that kids are playing nearby. Remember that a child could dash into the street at any moment. Pay attention and always anticipate the unexpected.

  • Watch for cyclists: Actively watch for cyclists on the road who might be harder to see. Make eye contact with them whenever possible to let them know you have seen them. Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left.

Top tips for parents:

  • Focus on the basics: Go over these important road safety tips with your children – even older children need to be reminded about road safety.

  • Set a good example: Never jaywalk or run across the street. Where possible, cross at intersections with a pedestrian crossing light or marked crossing.

  • Parked vehicles: Encourage your children to avoid shortcuts through parking lots or around parked cars where it’s harder for drivers to see small children.

  • Safe driving with children: Relatives, friends’ parents, and other caregivers often transport children in the summer. The law requires children be secured in car seats or booster seats until they are four feet nine inches tall or at least nine years old. Make sure your children’s seats or boosters goes with them if they might travel without you by car.

  • Cycling 101: Cyclist injuries from crashes with vehicles peak in July and August. It’s never too early to teach your children safe cycling behaviour – it could help make it second-nature to them when they’re older. Start by covering these basics:

    • Cycle in a straight line, avoid weaving and try to be as predictable as possible.

    • When sharing a path with pedestrians, ride on the right hand side for everyone’s safety. Use a bell or horn to alert others when you plan to pass.

    • When turning, shoulder check well in advance, hand signal and then with both hands on the handle bars, shoulder check again before turning.

    • Make sure children wear approved helmets that meet safety standards every time they ride their bikes and periodically inspect them for signs of wear.

Regional statistics*:

  • On average, 108 child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year in the Lower Mainland.

  • On average, 19 child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year on Vancouver Island.

  • On average, 17 child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year in the Southern Interior.

  • On average, seven child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year in the North Central region.

*Notes: ICBC crash and injury data used (2009 to 2013).

US safety agency investigates Jeep Wranglers; wiring problem may stop air bags from inflating

U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that a wiring problem in Jeep Wrangler steering wheels could stop the air bags from inflating in a crash.

The probe covers about 630,000 Wranglers from the 2007 through 2012 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 221 complaints that the air bag warning light is illuminating, indicating an electrical problem in the steering wheel. Jeep maker Fiat Chrysler recalled some right-hand-drive Wranglers in 2011 for the same problem. Now the agency is looking at left-hand-drive vehicles.

The agency reports no crashes or injuries because of the problem. The investigation could lead to another recall.

Fiat Chrysler says it is co-operating in the investigation. Owners whose air bag lights come on should contact their dealer.

canada-press

 

For teenage drivers, these are the deadly days of summer.

Read more

Why do I need reflectors? I’ve got lights!

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Parents – make sure to plan a safe ride home for your teens this grad season

Parents – make sure to plan a safe ride home for your teens this grad season

For high school seniors, grad celebrations and one last summer of carefree fun and parties remain before they move onto the next chapter of their lives. It’s an exciting time for grads and ICBC is asking parents to make sure their teens have a plan to get home safely from all of their celebrations and parties.

Every day from June to August, 19 youth are injured in crashes in B.C.

The number of youth killed in crashes increases by nearly 30 per cent in July and August in B.C. with an average of 10 youth killed. Speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving were the top contributing factors for young drivers in these fatal crashes.

Top five tips for parents:

  1. Know the plan every time. Talk to your teen about all of their plans for grad celebrations and parties and how they’ll be getting home from each of them. Many grads treat themselves to a limousine – make sure it’s scheduled to drive them home. If they could end up going to multiple parties in a night, make sure they plan safe rides for that too.

  2. Backup plans. Review a few scenarios with your teen in case their safe ride home falls through so they’re prepared and discuss alternatives whether it’s transit, a taxi or calling a family member for a ride. Ask your teen to program local taxi companies’ phone numbers into their phone, look up transit information in advance and set aside money for transit or a taxi just in case.

  3. Call for help. If you haven’t already, consider letting your child know that they can call you at any time if they ever need a ride. If they do call you for assistance, be supportive and consider saving your questions for the next day or at least until you’re home. If you aren’t able to pick your teen up yourself, you can always call a taxi to get them home safely.

  4. Designated drivers. If your teen is going to be the designated driver, remind them that a designated driver does not drink at all and use real-life scenarios to encourage an open discussion about not allowing passengers or peer pressure to influence their choices.

  5. Take a stand. If your teen will be getting a ride with a friend, remind them to ask the driver if they’ve had anything to drink before getting into the vehicle if they aren’t sure. Even if you’re confident that your child is going to make the right choices, talk to them about looking out for their friends, especially those they know are easily influenced by others. Your teen’s choices can have a significant influence on their friends and make it easier for them to take a stand too.

Regional statistics*:

  • On average, 385 youth are injured in crashes each month from June to August in the Lower Mainland.

  • On average, 71 youth are injured in crashes each month from June to August on Vancouver Island.

  • On average, 97 youth are injured each month from June to August in the Southern Interior.

  • On average, 28 youth are injured in crashes each month from June to August in the North Central region.

    Learn more about ICBC’s road safety speakers who have been touring the province sharing their personal, heartbreaking stories to thousands of students to motivate them to think twice before taking risks while driving. You can also find more helpful road safety tips on icbc.com.

*Fatality data based on police data from 2009 to 2013. Injury data based on ICBC data from 2009 to 2013. Youth defined as aged 16 to 21.

 

Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen​
604-982-4759

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