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ICBC and police ask drivers to slow down this Victoria Day long weekend

 May 17, 2016

 

Whether you’re heading out for a weekend getaway or staying local this Victoria Day long weekend, ICBC and police are asking you to plan ahead for increased traffic volumes so you’re not tempted to rush to your destination.

High-risk driving behaviours increase your chances of crashing and contribute to almost half of all crashes that result in injury or death in B.C.* Over the Victoria Day long weekend, two people are killed and 490 are injured in 1,900 crashes in B.C.**

This long weekend and throughout the month of May, police are stepping up enforcement across the province targeting high-risk driving behaviours, specifically speeding.

The high-risk driving campaign aims to remind drivers to slow down so they can be more prepared to react to the unexpected. The month-long campaign includes enhanced police enforcement, volunteer Speed Watch deployments in high crash locations and awareness initiatives in communities across the province.

Learn more about high-risk driving and speeding at icbc.com.

“Long weekends are a busier time on our highways and roads, as people head out on road trips and camping trips, and it’s imperative we all make safe choices on the road,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Police and RCMP will be making every effort to make sure drivers and their passengers remain safe this weekend. That includes checking for high-risk driving behaviours, such as speeding, tailgating, distracted driving and driving under the influence. We want everyone to have a safe and healthy long weekend, so please drive safely and with caution, remembering that more traffic will be on our roads.”

“With distracted driving being elevated to a high-risk driving offence, the Province is one step closer to having the safest roads in North America by 2020,” said Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Stiff new penalties, earlier interventions, along with possible driving prohibitions should make people think twice before engaging in this high-risk behaviour. Through this comprehensive penalty structure, we want to make distracted driving a thing of the past.”

“Failing to yield, speeding, and unsafe lane changes are high-risk driving behaviours that put everyone at risk,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “Drivers have to be responsible for their actions, pay attention and focus on driving. Police will be out in full-force across the province to let drivers know we are serious about reducing these senseless crashes.”

“Unsafe speed is a long-standing issue that puts everyone on our roads at risk,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “Our goal is always first and foremost to save lives and prevent injuries. Safer roads lead to fewer crashes, injuries and fatalities, which can help alleviate pressure on insurance rates. Slow down and be realistic about travel times to reduce your risk of crashing.”

Regional statistics:

  • Last year, 350 people were injured in 1,200 crashes throughout the Lower Mainland over the Victoria Day long weekend.**
  • Last year, 64 people were injured in 280 crashes on Vancouver Island over the Victoria Day long weekend.**
  • Last year, 59 people were injured in 330 crashes throughout the Southern Interior over the Victoria Day long weekend.**
  • Last year, 18 people were injured in 110 crashes throughout the North Central region over the Victoria Day long weekend.**

Notes:
*Almost half (43%) of all police-reported casualty crashes in B.C. have high-risk driving as a contributing factor. High-risk driving includes speeding, failing to yield, running red lights, following too closely and improper passing.

**Victoria Day long weekend is calculated from 18:00 the Thursday prior to Victoria Day to midnight Monday. Injured victims and crashes from 2015 ICBC data and fatal victims from police data five-year average (2010 to 2014).

Media contact:
Sam Corea
604-982-2480