NEWS RELEASE · 3rd September 2010
Ministry of Transportation
Aggressive driving and speeding is a deadly combination seen all too often on British Columbia highways. As the Labour Day weekend starts, motorists are reminded to obey posted speed limits so workers and holiday-makers can enjoy a safe long weekend, said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond today.
"While summer is winding down, construction activity is not," said Bond. "This is the busiest construction season ever in B.C. and so motorists are coming across construction sites and flag persons more frequently. As I've toured projects around the province this summer, I have continually seen drivers ignoring posted speed limits. As someone who is driving our highways on a regular basis, I am dismayed by the high speeds at which some people choose to travel."
"With that in mind, my ministry is working with Work Safe BC and police to help protect flag persons," said Bond. "I have asked our Commercial Vehicle Inspection staff to immediately step up enforcement in construction zones. As well, we will have more speed reader boards on job sites this weekend and beyond. Long-term, we will also be working with the RCMP to find additional measures to improve safety in construction zones and on roads in B.C. in general. I urge motorists to exercise caution behind the wheel. Whether they are driving through construction zones or not, please slow down and pay attention for their own safety and for the safety of flag persons who are working this weekend."
Drivers should also be aware that starting Monday, Sept. 20, new changes to the Motor Vehicle Act will trigger a seven day impoundment of their vehicle if they are caught speeding 40 km or more over the posted speed limit.
Additional tips for safer summer road trips:
* Be realistic: Plan ahead and be realistic about travel times. Allow extra time for rest breaks and possible delays, especially over a weekend where there may be increased traffic volume. Check drivebc.ca for highway closures and weather conditions before setting out.
* Drive smart: Remember that although you may not encounter a lot of traffic along highways, it's important to stay within the posted speed limit and always maintain a safe travelling distance - at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if you're behind a motorcycle. You might think that by speeding, you're cutting down on your travel time - but what you're really doing is decreasing your reaction time.
* Buckle up: If you do not wear your seatbelt, you are 25 times more likely to be killed in a crash if ejected from the vehicle.
* Set an example: Your smart decisions can have a significant influence on others. So set an example, whether you're a driver or passenger.
* Take all the necessary steps to have a safe and enjoyable summer vacation. A distracted driver is a dangerous driver. Find out more at drivecellsafe.ca.