BURNABY, B.C., May 12, 2008 – ICBC and police have launched an $800,000 speed and high-risk driving awareness campaign to focus B.C. drivers’ attention on their role in making roads safer.
The month-long campaign includes enhanced speed enforcement, volunteer Speed Watch deployments in high-crash locations, and advertising in communities across the province.
“Crashes due to speeding, tailgating, and running lights are completely preventable,” says Solicitor General John van Dongen. “The Province, police, ICBC, and community volunteers are stepping up efforts to reduce these crashes and save lives. But the truth is, we can’t do it without every driver in British Columbia getting on board.”
Speeding is one of the biggest factors in high-risk driving crashes. Approximately 5,200 people were injured in 8,200 speed-related crash incidents in 2006. The solicitor general, the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, and other road-safety partners are asking drivers to modify their own behaviour and to encourage friends and loved ones to do the same.
“Aggressive driving (speeding) is one of the major causes of fatalities, and the RCMP will be vigorously enforcing the law, especially through intersections in large urban centres,” says Insp. Norm Gaumont, Traffic Services. “We will also focus on motorcyclists, as the RCMP have observed a 100% increase in motorcycle deaths over the past 10 years.”
Speed Watch helps reduce speed-related crashes by making drivers more aware of the actual speed at which they are traveling. Police often deploy down the road from the Speed Watch volunteers, and motorists who don’t slow down face the possibility of getting a ticket.
“We see the results of speeding first hand every day,” says ICBC Road Safety Director Nicolas Jimenez. “So we’re asking drivers to do their part to make our roads safer, by changing bad habits such as speeding.”
Auto insurance rates are directly impacted by the number and severity of crashes. ICBC wants to keep insurance rates low and stable, and motorists can do their part by slowing down and driving safely.
The campaign runs from May 1 to 31. For more information, visit http://www.icbc.com/road_safety/crash_location.asp online.