B.C. police target dangerous behaviours at intersections

VANCOUVER, Nov. 18, 2008 – B.C.’s Solicitor General John van Dongen joined police and ICBC this morning to kick off a month-long campaign to reduce intersection crashes across British Columbia.

Following a media briefing at the Vancouver Police Department’s headquarters, media were invited to the intersection of 41st and Knight Street where plain-clothes officers targeted the most common driving behaviours that lead to intersection crashes.

“We all need to take responsibility for our driving behaviour if we want our roads to be safer,” says Solicitor General John van Dongen. “The province, police, ICBC and community volunteers are doing their part by stepping up efforts to reduce intersection crashes and save lives.”

Since 2003, more than one million drivers have been involved in an intersection crash. “More than 40 per cent of all police-attended crashes in B.C. occur at intersections. That’s simply too many. Province-wide, the police will be targeting drivers that choose to exhibit these dangerous behaviours,” says Inspector Norm Gaumont, Traffic Services.

Intersection crashes also include collisions involving pedestrians. According to a five-year average (2003-2007), approximately 1,600 pedestrians are injured and 27 are killed in intersection-related incidents each year.

“Many people think tailgating or failing to yield are harmless. The fact is, they cause crashes that can injure or kill people,” says Road Safety director Nicolas Jimenez. “Driving smart means really thinking about consequences. Small changes can have really positive impacts – on you and others.”

The campaign features radio and television advertisements reminding drivers to drive smart. Also during the campaign month, police will increase enforcement at high-crash locations in communities across the province.

The fewer and less severe the crashes, the safer B.C. roads will be, which also translates into low and stable auto insurance rates for ICBC customers.

This campaign runs through the month of November. For more information, visit http://www.icbc.com/road_safety/crash_location.asp.