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ICBC's tips for staying safe this Labour Day long weekend

August 29, 2012

Over the Labour Day long weekend, on average, four people are killed and 576 injured in 1,935 crashes across the province.* Whatever your plans are for the last long weekend of summer, ICBC is encouraging you to plan ahead so that you and your family get to where you're going safely.

"With the long weekend upon us, we want to remind British Columbians to drive safely and take care behind the wheel," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. "Those who drive while impaired, speed excessively, talk or text while driving can expect to face some of the most severe penalties in Canada. Make this Labour Day weekend a memorable one for the right reasons."

"Police will be out in full force across the province this weekend and throughout the month of September checking for distracted drivers," said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Chair of the Traffic Safety Committee of the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police. "Plan ahead to avoid getting distracted - turn off your phone before you head out or better yet, put it in the trunk so you won't be tempted if it rings while you're driving."

"We want you and your family to enjoy the last weekend of summer and stay safe," said Fiona Temple, ICBC's director of road safety. "With more traffic expected over the holiday weekend, expect delays and give yourself extra time to get to where you're going safely. If you think you might be having drinks, plan a safe ride home before you start drinking."

Here are ICBC's tips to help you and your family stay safe this Labour Day long weekend:

  • Be realistic: With more vehicles on the road over the long weekend, allow extra time for possible delays. Check road and weather conditions before you set off at drivebc.com.
  • Slow down and keep your distance: This is vital during the summer months as we see more motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians on our roads. Their movements can be unpredictable so maintaining a safe distance will give you more time to react. 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.
  • Eliminate distractions: Distracted driving is now the third leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C., with an average of 94 deaths every year due to driver distractions. These deaths are preventable and you can help keep your family and friends safe by not calling or talking to them if you know they're behind the wheel. You can download a free ringtone developed by ICBC that will help remind you not to pick up every time you receive a call.
  • Plan ahead: If your plans involve alcohol, take all the necessary steps to make sure you get home safely - arrange a designated driver, take a taxi, public transit or call a friend or family member for a ride home.
  • School's back: Don't forget that kids head back to school on Tuesday so drivers will need to pay extra care and attention. Police will be closely monitoring speeds in school zones, making sure that drivers stick to the 30km/h limit. With the excitement of going back to school, road safety may not be top of mind for kids so it's a good time for parents to remind them about the rules of the road and go over their route to school with them.

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

Regional statistics:

  • Over the Labour Day long weekend, on average, 380 people are injured in 1,208 crashes every year in the Lower Mainland (Greater Vancouver & Fraser Valley). (ICBC data from 2007 to 2011).
  • Over the Labour Day long weekend, on average, 25 people are injured in 113 crashes every year in the Northern Central region. (ICBC data from 2007 to 2011).
  • Over the Labour Day long weekend, on average, 84 people are injured in 292 crashes every year in the Southern Interior. (ICBC data from 2007 to 2011).
  • Over the Labour Day long weekend, on average, 88 people are injured in 291 crashes every year on Vancouver Island. (ICBC data from 2007 to 2011).

*ICBC crash and injury data from 2007 to 2011 and police fatality data from 2006 to 2010.

Media contact
Adam Grossman
604-982-1332