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Police targeting high-risk driving this long weekend

ICBC data: an average of 1,700 crashes occur on May long weekend

May 14, 2014

Whether you're heading out for a camping trip or visiting family, the B.C. government, police and ICBC are asking you to give yourself plenty of time and focus on the road this long weekend.

Every year over the May long weekend, an average of two people are killed and 490 injured in 1,700 crashes throughout B.C.*

Police will be targeting all high-risk driving behaviours this long weekend including failing to yield, speeding, following too closely and ignoring a traffic control device, as part of this month's high-risk driving campaign.

While some may consider these driving behaviours harmless, they contribute to almost half (44 per cent) of all police-reported crashes that result in injuries or fatalities on our roads.

ICBC tips:

  • Think ahead: If you'll be taking a road trip, check the road and weather conditions for your entire trip at drivebc.ca before you head out. Even if the roads look clear, be realistic about your travel times since there will be more vehicles on our highways. Plan rest stops every couple of hours to avoid becoming fatigued while driving.

  • Get your vehicle ready: Long trips can be hard on your vehicle, so make sure it's up to the drive. It's a great time of year to give your vehicle a good check-up. Remember to check your engine oil, washer fluid and lights. Take a look at your tires too, including the spare, to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated.

  • Watch out for vulnerable road users: Warmer spring weather encourages more motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians on our roads. We all need to share our roads together safely. As a driver, we have a particular responsibility to help keep vulnerable road users safe so actively watch for other road users and make eye contact with them so they know that you see them.

  • Keep your distance: Whether you're going on a long or short trip, always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles. Allow at least two seconds of following distance in good weather and road conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if you're behind a motorcycle since it has a much shorter stopping distance.

For more tips, please visit icbc.com/road-safety.

Quotes:

Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

"Our highways will be much busier over the long weekend as people head out of town on weekend getaways," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Before leaving on your trip, check drivebc.ca for road and weather conditions so you and your family get to your destination safely."

Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice

"The Victoria Day long weekend is a great time for people to get out and enjoy our beautiful province and events," said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. "As Minister responsible for public safety, I'm asking everyone to please take the time now and plan how you will get to and from your long weekend celebrations safely. And if you are driving, please remember to stay rested, do not drink and drive and focus your full attention on the road so that you and your loved ones make it home safely."

Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

"Don't take risks while driving that will endanger yourself or others," said Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "Police will be out in full force across the province this long weekend targeting high-risk driving behaviours so that our roads stay safe for everyone."

John Dickinson, ICBC's director of road safety

"We need to shift our mindset about what we consider risky driving behaviour," said John Dickinson, ICBC's director of road safety. "Failing to yield may seem harmless, but it's a high-risk driving behaviour that leads to crashes every day on our roads. This May long weekend, pay extra attention to your own driving – take your time, leave a safe following distance and watch out for other road users, especially at intersections."

Regional statistics*:

  • On average, 340 people are injured in 1,100 crashes throughout the Lower Mainland (Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley) every year over the Victoria Day long weekend.

  • On average, 67 people are injured in 230 crashes on Vancouver Island every year over the Victoria Day long weekend.

  • On average, 68 people are injured in 260 crashes throughout the Southern Interior every year over the Victoria Day long weekend.

  • On average, 17 people are injured in 100 crashes throughout the North Central region every year over the Victoria Day long weekend.

*Notes:

ICBC crash and injury data used (2009 to 2013) and police fatality data used (2008 to 2012).

Victoria Day long weekend is calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to Victoria Day to midnight on Victoria Day.

Media contact
Lindsay Olsen
604-982-4759