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ICBC asking B.C. drivers to plan ahead this Easter long weekend

March 26, 2013

plan ahead this Easter long weekend

Every year over the Easter Day long weekend, an average of four people are killed and 630 injured in 2,200 crashes throughout B.C.* Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or staying close to home this long weekend, ICBC is asking you to plan ahead and make smart choices to help keep you and your family safe.

"We have been building up our network of webcams on DriveBC, to help drivers plan ahead for a safe route, especially during busier times such as long weekends," said Mary Polak, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "We now have more than 300 webcam images available on drivebc.ca, all across the province. If you are setting off on a road trip, you can check road conditions, weather and view the webcams so you can plan out your route and enjoy a safe long weekend."

"Easter is a special holiday for many children and their families, and, tragically, a traffic accident can take all of that away in an instant," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. "I'd like anyone in need of additional incentive to make safe driving choices - such as following the speed limit or not drinking and driving - to remind themselves of the many families who will be on B.C. roads this long weekend."

"Every driver should exercise a high degree of personal responsibility when behind the wheel," said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Victoria Police Department and Traffic Safety Committee Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police. "Injury or death will only be prevented by drivers slowing down and focusing on the job at hand. The police will be out in force across British Columbia this weekend making sure people are safe and drivers are not distracted. Everyone must pay attention to the tasks and skills needed to drive properly."

"We want everyone to stay safe and enjoy their holiday weekend," said John Dickinson, ICBC's director of road safety. "If your plans involve alcohol, arrange a designated driver or plan another safe way home. If you're hosting a family get-together, have non-alcoholic drinks on hand for designated drivers and help make sure your guests get home safely."

Here are tips from ICBC to help you stay safe this Easter long weekend:

  • Map it out: Be realistic about travel times and allow extra time for possible delays that may occur due to increased traffic volume over the long weekend. Check the road and weather conditions for your entire trip at drivebc.ca before setting out.
  • Be prepared: Weather conditions can change suddenly at this time of year, especially when travelling over long distances. Even in spring, drivers may encounter winter-like conditions in some parts of the province so be aware that winter tires and chains may still be required on some mountain and interior highways. In other parts of the province, warmer weather will encourage more motorcyclists and cyclists to hit the road. Drivers should slow down, use extra caution and keep a look out for other roads users.
  • Your vehicle: Long trips can be hard on your vehicle, so make sure it's up to the drive. Remember to check your engine oil, washer fluid, lights and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated.
  • Keep your distance: Whether travelling a long distance or a 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 to help you stay safe, please visit icbc.com.

Regional statistics:

  • On average, 460 people are injured in 1,470 crashes throughout the Lower Mainland (Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley) every year over the Easter long weekend.*
  • On average, 80 people are injured in 300 crashes on Vancouver Island every year over the Easter long weekend.*
  • On average, 70 people are injured in 310 crashes throughout the Southern Interior every year over the Easter long weekend.*
  • On average, 20 people are injured in 130 crashes throughout the North Central region every year over the Easter long weekend.*

*Note: ICBC crash and injury data used (2008 to 2012) and police fatality data used (2007 to 2011). Easter long weekend is calculated from 18:00 the Thursday prior to Good Friday to midnight Easter Monday.

Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen
604-982-4759