(Black Press file photo)

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Police will be conducting a province-wide enforcement blitz as drivers hit the road this Victoria Day long weekend.

The increase in enforcement is part of a month-long campaign being run by the government, police and ICBC with a focus on speeding.

In 2017, 540 people were injured in 2,300 crashes in B.C. over the May long weekend.

READ ALSO: Drugs, alcohol and lack of seatbelts top reasons for fatal car crashes: B.C. coroner

In a recent survey conducted by Ipsos for ICBC, almost three-quarters of respondents said they have been concerned for their safety as a passenger in a vehicle they considered to be speeding.

As drivers, 46 per cent said their top concern of possible consequences from speeding was injuring a passenger.

ICBC, police and Speed Watch volunteers are also urging drivers to slow down and speak up if you feel uncomfortable as a passenger.

Speed is the number one cause of car crash fatalities in B.C., according to ICBC, with 82 people killed in speed-related crashes each year.

Speeding is also a concern for road users besides drivers.

ICBC says 90 per cent of pedestrians would survive if hit by a passenger vehicle driving at 40 km/h. That number drops to a 50 per cent survival rate if the collision occurs at 80 km/h.

During the month of May, police are targeting speeders, and Speed Watch volunteers will also be set up in B.C. communities to remind drivers of their speed.

READ MORE: Speed cameras to target leadfoots at 35 B.C. intersections

READ ALSO: NDP defends new speed cameras coming to 35 intersections

ICBC is also working with the government to upgrade 35 existing intersection safety cameras to identify and ticket speeding drivers.

Some tips for a safe long weekend road trip include:

  • Plan your route and check road conditions at drivebc.ca before you leave
  • Don’t speed up as someone is trying to pass you. Slow down and make room.
  • Be realistic about travel times and don’t rush to make up time.
  • Make a game of looking for motorcycles and count them as you go. It’s also a way to teach young drivers to look for motorcyclists.
  • Stay focused and avoid distractions that may take your mind off driving and your eyes off the road. Leave your phone alone.

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