ICBC and police urge drivers to slow down at intersections

Make smart driving decisions and stay safe

VANCOUVER, May 21 /CNW/ - ICBC and police launched the intersections safety awareness and enforcement campaign today to remind drivers, pedestrians and motorcyclists that intersections are busy places and we all need to use caution as we approach them.

More than 40 per cent of all police-attended crashes in B.C. happen at intersections. That's why police throughout the province are targeting high-risk driving behaviours near intersections over the next month.

"High-risk behaviours have no place on our roadways. We're stepping up enforcement to let people know we're serious about reducing crashes at intersections so that what we've seen doesn't happen to you," said RCMP Superintendent Norm Gaumont.

Intersection crashes can lead to serious consequences, especially when pedestrians or motorcyclists are involved. On average, from 2005 to 2009 approximately 1,300 pedestrians were injured annually in intersection-related incidents in B.C. Motorcyclists are also vulnerable road users with more than 950 crashes involving motorcycles occurring at B.C. intersections annually.

Many drivers exhibit behaviours that may seem harmless, such as tailgating or failing to yield the right-of-way, but they increase the risk of causing a crash. "Set an example for others by making smart driving choices," said road safety director Nicolas Jimenez. "You don't have to rush through the light. You can choose to stop, take a deep breath and realize you'll still get where you need to go. More importantly, you'll get there safely."

As part of the campaign, the advertising component aims to remind the public that if they slow down, they'll see more of the road. The campaign includes radio, television and bus back advertising and an updated interactive game on icbc.com/drivesmart to help illustrate how much is going on at intersections at any given time.

We can all do our part to keep intersections safer if we follow a few tips:

    
    -  When making a left turn, be extra cautious and yield the right-of-way
       to oncoming traffic.

    -  Leave enough space between your car and the one in front of you.

    -  Leave early and allow for extra travel time in case of delays.

    -  Remember: yellow lights mean you should stop if you can do so safely.

    -  Slow down and drive smart.
    

These tips may seem common sense and almost too simple to mention, yet from 2005 to 2009 an average of more than 250 crashes happen at intersections in B.C. every single day. We can all use a reminder of the basics once in awhile, and it's worth it if it reduces crashes and helps to save lives.

SOURCE ICBC

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Cindy Kralj, (604) 315-1430; Karen Klein, (604) 786-6483

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