Province reminds motorists to drive safe over long weekend

The B.C. government asks drivers to be cautious this weekend, as accidents tend to increase on Canada Day.

  • Jun. 30, 2012 6:00 p.m.

The B.C. government is reminding drivers to keep their families safe by following common-sense road safety tips during Canada Day long weekend.

According to provincial statistics for the last five years, on Canada Day alone, an average of two people die and 156 are injured in about 613 crashes on B.C.’s roads. Between 2007 and 2011, the average number of crashes and injuries by region were:

* Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley: 382 crashes, 102 injuries.

* North Central: 41 crashes, eight injuries.

* Southern Interior: 99 crashes, 22 injuries.

* Vancouver Island: 92 crashes, 23 injuries.

Alcohol, speed and driver distraction are the top three contributing factors in motor vehicle deaths. Drivers in B.C. who engage in these dangerous behaviours can expect to face some of the most severe penalties and fines in Canada.

Here are some safety tips to help drivers arrive at their destination safely:

* Plan a safe way home, such as a designated driver or taxi, if your weekend activities will involve alcohol. Remember that impairment begins with the first drink, and that drugs – including prescription drugs – can affect your ability to drive safely.

* Buckle up. Seatbelt use is the single, most-effective step you can take to protect yourself from death or serious injury in a collision. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167, and drivers can be fined $598 for operating their vehicle with more passengers than seatbelts.

* Slow down and stay calm. Speed and aggressive driving are among the main causes of fatal crashes.

* Plan ahead, keeping in mind that congestion, construction and road conditions may add to your travel time. View current webcam images on DriveBC at: www.drivebc.ca

* Eliminate distractions. Place calls before you leave and pull over to check maps. Drivers using a hand-held phone device are subject to a fine of $167 and drivers caught texting or emailing will receive three penalty points in addition to the fine.

* Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you – at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if you’re behind a motorcycle.

* Watch for motorcycles. Drivers need to recognize there are more riders on B.C. roads every year, particularly in spring and summer.

Just Posted

Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO visit Golden

MP Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO Derek Nighbor toured LP Mill.

New massage clinic in Golden

A new massage clinic opened in Golden to help ease those aches and pains.

Hockey commentator gets his start

Lukas Pfisterer is just 12-years-old, but already making his mark as a commentator.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read