ICBC's game plan for Games time

The top five tips to enjoy a safe 2010 Winter Games on our roads

VANCOUVER, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - With more than 250,000 visitors expected in the Lower Mainland and Whistler for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, our roads will be busier than ever with extra passenger and commercial vehicles, taxis, buses and pedestrians.

While ICBC is well prepared to deal with the anticipated increase in claims in February, there are some important things to keep in mind. Here are ICBC's top five tips for having a safe and enjoyable 2010 Winter Games experience:

    1)  Be a good host: An increase in visitors will mean more motorists that
        are unfamiliar with B.C.'s roads. This is our chance to be good hosts
        and display smart driving skills to visitors by slowing down and
        keeping our distance from other vehicles - drivers and pedestrians
        unfamiliar with our roads may need a bit more space. If you are
        unfortunate enough to be involved in a crash and the other person
        involved is not insured by ICBC, it is important that you record as
        much information as possible to help your claim go smoothly. Get the
        licence plate of any other vehicles involved, along with the driver's
        address and phone numbers (including their temporary contact details
        while in B.C.), email address and, most importantly, the name of
        their insurance company and their policy number. ICBC's At the scene
        of a crash claims card can help you recall the pertinent information
        you'll need. The cards are available from Autoplan brokers, ICBC
        claims centres or can be downloaded from

    2)  Be a role model: As of January 1, it is now illegal in B.C. for
        drivers to use hand-held cellphones and other hand-held
        communications and entertainment devices - including BlackBerry
        devices, PDAs, iPods or manual programmable GPS systems. The goal of
        the new law is to make our roads safer for everyone and we all play
        an important role in that. The focus for January has been public
        awareness but, as of February 1, police will start issuing tickets of
        $167 and there is also the potential to receive demerit points on
        your driving record. So now's the time to start letting calls go to
        your voicemail, ask a passenger to take your calls while driving or
        to invest in a hands-free device.

    3)  Commute creatively: For anyone living in the downtown core of
        Vancouver, road closures, significantly reduced on-street parking and
        tens of thousands of more pedestrians are going to be a reality that
        will make driving more challenging. Given that, now is the ideal time
        to look at alternative transportation options for getting about or
        for your daily commute to work during the 2010 Winter Games. There
        will be many public transportation choices, or consider cycling to
        work, tele-working or changing your work hours to avoid the Games-
        time peak travel times in downtown Vancouver of 7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to
        7 p.m. All of this will help the overall goal of reducing traffic
        during the 2010 Winter Games by at least 30 per cent. To plan your
        commute visit and the City of Vancouver's website

    4)  Drive smart: If you are going to be driving during Games time then
        ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared. Every January
        and February in B.C means mixed weather conditions - heavy rain,
        sleet, fog, and snow - and a high number of crashes - a total of
        45,000 on B.C. roads during those months in 2008. Prepare your
        vehicle for a range of conditions and make sure you plan your trip
        ahead of time. A great resource in planning your journey is, which will advise you of delays, and possible road and
        highway closures.

    5)  Party safely: The 2010 Winter Games will be a party the likes of
        which we have never seen before, but it's important that we all have
        a good time responsibly. Help make these the safest Winter Games ever
        by providing your guests with a safe ride home - encourage the use of
        transit, designated drivers and have taxi numbers on hand. It's also
        possible to have a lot of fun without alcohol - a hot apple cider, a
        smooth and creamy Kootenay Koffee or a tart and tingling Lemon Fizz
        are fun and easy-to-make mocktail treats. For these quick and simple
        recipes go to (

For many more tips on how to enjoy a safe 2010 Winter Games on the road, visit


For further information: For further information: Media contact: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332

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