Thursday, September 03, 2009

Last Long Weekend Of The Summer

Plan Ahead For A Safe Long Weekend

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 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

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.

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.


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