Today’s Poll

Be safe this Labour Day weekend

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
August 31st, 2012

It’s the Labour Day weekend . . . the last holiday weekend of summer and the police want to warn the public to be careful on highways and byways around the province.

 “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, speaking on behalf of Chiefs of Police throughout the province.

“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.”

Stats from ICBC report on average, four people are killed and 576 injured in 1,935 crashes across the province.

In the southern interior, those numbers, compiled from 2007 to 2011, on average are 84 people are injured in 292 crashes every Labour Day weekend.

“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.”

Some tips to safe driving released by ICBC for drivers this Labour Day long weekend are:

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.

—with files from ICBC

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