Monday, November 09, 2009

Don't Rush Through Intersections

ICBC and police kicked off a month-long campaign to raise awareness about intersection safety by staging a mock crash at the intersection of Beatty and Robson in Vancouver this morning.

Speakers addressed the seriousness of intersection safety and the psychology of drivers at intersections.

From 2004 to 2008 more than one million drivers were involved in intersection crashes. On average, that’s more than 250 crashes at intersections every day.

“In most cases, car crashes are preventable,” said Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC Road Safety director. “We have the choice to change our common and risky behaviours, like running lights or tailgating. That’s why we’re asking people to slow down, focus on driving and use caution on the road.”

Police throughout the province will be targeting dangerous driving behaviours near intersections throughout November. “More than 40 per cent of all police-attended crashes in B.C. occur at intersections and, sadly, we’re there to see the devastating impacts of those crashes on people’s lives,” said RCMP Traffic Operations Officer I.E. Ted Emanuels. “We’re stepping up enforcement so what we’ve seen doesn’t happen to you.”

With winter approaching, days are getting shorter and summer’s weather is a distant memory. Drivers need to focus on their driving even more to keep themselves, other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists safe.

“We want British Columbians to make smart choices and always use caution when approaching intersections—make that the common behaviour we see on our roads. Set an example – smart driving decisions can have a significant influence on others,” said ICBC Consulting Psychologist John Vavrik.

This campaign runs through the month of November. Along with the enhanced enforcement it also includes radio, television, bus back and elevator wrap advertising to help get the message out to drivers. For more information, visit

Here are some tips we can all follow to make intersections safer:

  • 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.
Comment: I hope the drivers who routinely run the light at St. George and Terminal Ave. N. get the message. It amazes me they aren't piled up there all the time. I use this intersection regularly and NEVER go through without looking all ways, no matter what the lights say!


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