Long weekend will see high-risk driving targeted

Seasonal policing efforts by Chilliwack RCMP start this weekend.

Every year over the May long weekend, an average of two people are killed and 490 injured in 1,700 crashes across B.C.

Seasonal policing efforts by Chilliwack RCMP start this weekend.

“Our highways will be much busier over the long weekend as people head out of town on weekend getaways,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Before leaving on your trip, check drivebc.ca for road and weather conditions so you and your family get to your destination safely.”

Whether heading out on a camping trip or visiting family, the B.C. government, police and ICBC are asking motorists to take time and focus on the road this long weekend.

Police will be targeting all high-risk driving behaviours including failing to yield, speeding, following too closely and ignoring a traffic control device, as part of this month’s high-risk driving campaign.

While some may consider these harmless, they contribute to almost half (44 per cent) of all police-reported crashes that result in injuries or fatalities on our roads.

ICBC tips:

•    Think ahead: If you’ll be taking a road trip, check the road and weather conditions for your entire trip at drivebc.ca before you head out. Even if the roads look clear, be realistic about your travel times since there will be more vehicles on our highways. Plan rest stops every couple of hours to avoid becoming fatigued while driving.

•    Get your vehicle ready: Long trips can be hard on your vehicle, so make sure it’s up to the drive. It’s a great time of year to give your vehicle a good check-up. Remember to check your engine oil, washer fluid and lights. Take a look at your tires too, including the spare, to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated.

•    Watch out for vulnerable road users: Warmer spring weather encourages more motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians on our roads. We all need to share our roads together safely. As a driver, we have a particular responsibility to help keep vulnerable road users safe so actively watch for other road users and make eye contact with them so they know that you see them.

•    Keep your distance: Whether you’re going on a long or 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 icbc.com/road-safety.

“Don’t take risks while driving that will endanger yourself or others,” said Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “Police will be out in full force across the province this long weekend targeting high-risk driving behaviours so that our roads stay safe for everyone.”

The bulk of the total crashes province-wide happen in the Lower Mainland. On average, 340 people are injured in 1,100 crashes throughout the Lower Mainland (Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley) every year over the Victoria Day long weekend.

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