The Province, ICBC and police encourage drivers to plan ahead on the last long weekend of the summer



    VANCOUVER, Sept. 2 /CNW/ - As the last long weekend of the summer
approaches, the Province, police and ICBC are asking all drivers to make smart
driving decisions and plan their trips safely ahead of time - especially as we
approach back to school season.
    Over the Labour Day long weekend, there are approximately 878 crashes,
446 injuries and five fatalities in B.C.(*) We all need to play a role in making
B.C. roads safer, so here are five smart driving tips for the Labour Day long
weekend:

    No. 1 - Plan ahead: The Labour Day long weekend can be the last chance to
get away for a sunny summer vacation, so if you're planning a long drive make
sure you get plenty of rest beforehand and look for regular rest stops on your
journey. Remember to plan your route and check your road map before starting
out to avoid any chance of being distracted behind the wheel.

    No. 2 - Be realistic: ...about your travel times and check the road and
weather conditions before you leave. Go to drivebc.com before you leave - it
lists highway closures so you can allow extra time for delays that may occur,
especially over the long weekend when more vehicles will be on the road. Be
prepared for sudden changes in the weather too. While weather conditions are
favourable right now, they can change quickly at this time of year, especially
when travelling over long distances in B.C.

    No. 3 - Your vehicle: Long road trips can be tiring for drivers and
passengers, but also on your vehicle too so make sure it's up to the drive.
Among the key things to check for are to see to if your engine oil is at the
proper level, that your radiator coolant is topped up, that you have enough
washer fluid, that all the lights are working, and that your tires are
properly inflated. For more tips on preparing your vehicle, go to
drivesmartsavegreen.com.

    No. 4 - The border: Many of us in B.C. like to make good use of our close
proximity to the 49th parallel by taking regular trips down to the U.S. If you
are thinking of doing so on this Labour Day long weekend, remember that as of
June 1 of this year all travellers - including Canadian and U.S. citizens -
have needed to present a valid passport or other approved document that
confirms identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. by land or water. The
Enhanced Driver's Licence is a voluntary, convenient and secure option to get
you across the border. Visit icbc.com 
(http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/edl) for more
information.

    No. 5 - School's back: Once the weekend is over, we all need to remember
that kids go back to school on Tuesday and that means extra care and attention
needs to be paid around school and playground zones. Remember that police will
be closely monitoring speeds in school zones so that drivers stick to the
30km/h limit. Key points for drivers to remember are that driving routes that
normally have less traffic in the summer may now face congestion due to people
returning to work or school, and that there will be more vehicles on the road
so take your time and don't rush - especially through intersections. Remember
to look for children especially near or around crosswalks.
    For more information and tips, visit icbc.com.

    (*) Annual averages from 2004-2008 ICBC and police-reported data.





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Mark Jan Vrem, (604) 982-2476

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