Last September the Parents Advisory Committee (PAC) at the Ecole Oceanside Elementary School in Parksville asked me to help establishing a crossing guard program for what they considered to be a dangerous intersection at one corner of the school grounds. In past, the principal had raised the issue of liability concerns that needed to be looked into and that was the end of the conversation.
This year, with a little bit of research and advice from another school that had a crossing guard program this program was backed by the new principal. The request made it as far as school district’s Operations and Maintenance / Transportation manager according to the PAC, where it stalled yet again.
The head of the PAC has now stopped responding to requests for an update on the progress of their project.
The strategy of Ignore Them, They’ll Go Away seems to have been successfully adopted by many levels of government today. From the perspective of gathering information for this site, RoadSafetyBC is the worst, TranBC along with the RCMP are somewhere in the middle and ICBC has been the best, although they are now beginning to ignore e-mail requests as well.
In all cases, if you agenda matches theirs, information is forthcoming, often surprisingly quickly. The people at RoadSafetyBC spent a lot of effort assisting me in creating a unit on the Enhanced Road Assessment for my ElderCollege course. However, ask if there has been any follow up research on 2015’s B.C. Communities Road Safety Survey to see if there have been improvements and the e-mail enters a black hole.
At this point I would even be happy with an auto response telling me that my message has been received. It would be a simple matter to include information about how requests are triaged and what to do if a response is not received within a reasonable amount of time.
When I was working in traffic enforcement I was occasionally reminded by the driver I was dealing with that they were the ones that paid my wages. Yes, I did work for them but sometimes that work was not what they wanted me to be doing. Still, they had a point and I had an obligation. Government seems to forget this too.
On the other hand, I can imagine that with the ability to e-mail some government contacts being so simple, many of us do it. There must be a huge volume of e-mail to deal with and people do make mistakes.
To come full circle to the PAC request, if they considered their crossing guard program and decided that it was the best solution, they should be prepared to persist in the face of silence. The group should not quit until they are either successful or are shown that there is a better way to deal with the problem.
Getting arrested for driving impaired is a terrible way to start off the new year, as 284 people found out in January.
The January spotlight found police across the province reporting 231 Criminal Code charges for impaired driving and 53 roadside administrative suspensions.
While many New Year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, it’s important to commit to drive sober or plan a safe ride home when you know you’ll be impaired by drugs or alcohol. Saskatchewan has tough consequences for impaired drivers, and impaired driving is the leading cause of death on Saskatchewan roads.
Distracted driving tickets decline for third consecutive month
The number of reported distracted driving offences continued to trend lower in January after seeing significant drops in both November and December. Police reported 509 tickets issued last month (including 405 for cellphone use).
Remember, distracted driving penalties increased Feb. 1, but police officers were keeping a close eye on distracted drivers long before the change, and will continue to focus on this issue.
In January, police in Saskatchewan also reported the following:
- 428 tickets related to seatbelts and car seats and,
- 5,563 tickets for speeding and aggressive driving.
February’s Traffic Safety Spotlight continues to be on distracted driving. Avoiding a big ticket (plus demerits, and vehicle impoundment for a repeat offence) is easy. Leave the phone alone, be wary of other behaviours that might distract you, and #JustDrive.
Our highways are not for the exclusive use of motor vehicles. Bicycles, pedestrians, equestrians and others may be expected to use their fair share of the highway as well. In fact, in some ways the shoulder of the road could be considered to be their domain and not that of the driver.
The shoulder of the highway is the area to the right of the solid white line at the right side of the roadway, or the part of the highway to the right of the pavement if that solid white line is not present. The roadway is between the center of the highway and the shoulder.
Drivers must drive on the roadway, not the shoulder. Passing on the right off of the roadway and driving on the shoulder to allow others to pass are common violations of this rule.
Many drivers regularly fail to confine the path of their vehicle to the roadway, particularly in curves, putting both themselves and those on the shoulder at risk. This can be easy to identify when the inside of a corner is kept free of gravel or the shoulder line is worn away in comparison to nearby straight roadway.
Bicycle riders are required to ride as near as is practical to the right side of the highway, but not on the sidewalk or off of the pavement. This most often means that cyclists will be found on the paved shoulder of the road.
Pedestrians must not walk on the roadway if there is a sidewalk present. If they choose not to use the sidewalk when only one side of the road has one, walking on the shoulder opposite is acceptable.
Horses and horse drawn vehicles are required to use the roadway just like the drivers of cars and trucks. Riders may choose to use the shoulder to yield the right of way to faster motor vehicles in the same fashion that a slow driver would.
Just as a child learns to colour properly by staying within the lines, so must the driver. Staying between the lines is a required skill that will serve you and other highway users well during your driving career. It will also save wear and tear on the lines themselves, leaving them easy to see as a guide for others.
MONTREAL _ A 74-year-old man taking a driving test in Montreal was killed Tuesday when a commuter train struck the car he was driving.
The examiner, an employee of Quebec’s motor vehicle insurance agency, who was seated next to the driver, suffered critical injuries and was taken to hospital.
Police say the collision occurred in the city’s north end at a level railway crossing on Gouin Boulevard, near the river that separates Montreal from its northern suburb.
Mario Vaillancourt, spokesman for the Societe de l’assurance automobile du Quebec, said the 74-year-old was being re-evaluated for a driver’s license.
Vaillancourt said the type of exam the man was taking “is often tied to someone’s health condition,” though he declined to discuss the specifics of the collision.
“We ask that they take a road test” to evaluate whether the person can still drive safely, Vaillancourt said.
The SAAQ released a statement Tuesday afternoon offering condolences to the 74-year-old’s family. “A team has been deployed … to meet with staff members to provide them with the necessary psychological support,” the agency said.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it has dispatched an investigator to the railway crossing to gather information about the collision, which occurred around 9:30 a.m.
Montreal police said the driver was transported to hospital in critical condition and died there shortly after, while his 33-year-old passenger was in hospital in critical condition.
No one was injured aboard the train, which is operated by the regional transit agency Exo.