A Comedy of Errors

ICBC LogoThis week ICBC rolled out a new road safety campaign called Drive Smart. It's aimed at increasing driver knowledge, promoting staying focused while driving and looking out for the safety of other road users. There is also a special social media hashtag: #KnowYourPartBC.

Two on line quizzes help identify gaps in driving knowledge. You can test your general driving skills or road sign recognition by answering 25 multiple choice questions and if you need to brush up a bit afterward, you can review Learn to Drive Smart and Tuning Up For Drivers on line as well. If you are a motorcyclist, the Learn to Ride Smart and Tuning Up for Riders guides are only a click away.

Do you pull a trailer? Towing a Recreational Trailer is your reference guide.

Probably the biggest hurdle this campaign will have is overcoming the Better Than Average Driver bias. Drivers must believe something lies within their control before training will influence their decisions. 

If a driver is receptive to change there is probably always room for some improvement. Even though we may have been driving for many years, errors and omissions creep into our daily driving routine.

This was highlighted for me when I arranged for a driver to trade his speeding ticket for driver training. Identifying his shortcomings coupled with a willingness to improve did more for road safety than the speeding ticket alone in my opinion.

That kind of attitude is what must be developed to replace the "me first!" outlook held by many who share the road with us. See - Think - Do is often short circuited by selfishness.

A prime example of this kind of behaviour does not take long to find. On my last trip about two thirds of traffic was jammed into the left lane, all traveling slightly over the speed limit. Most failed to allow for safe following distance and the pair just in front of me was joined by a pickup pulling a boat on a trailer.

Rather than move to the right lane, both cars continued in the left lane, seemingly oblivious to what was behind.

That didn't deter the pickup driver, he just moved up to within about a parking space length of the second vehicle and sat there waiting for the other two to get out of his way.

Is this deliberate intimidation, overconfidence or simply a failure to appreciate the risk?

The failure of the two other drivers to move right is either a mistaken act of entitlement or a failure to effectively monitor traffic and adjust accordingly.

Can the latest campaign help overcome a comedy of errors like this one? Yes, especially if we realize that the problem includes us all and we resolve to do something to improve.

Reference Link:

Comments

Total bragging rights!

 

Bow down! When it comes to driving, you are one smooth operator - cool, calm and collected. You understand that we all have a part to play and impressively navigate the roads accordingly.

Frankly, the quiz isn't all that challenging. Give it a go!

Pointless.

While admirable in its intent, until these sorts of measures become mandatory at each license renewal, and providing your email address/mailing address is also mandatory, the overwhelming majority of drivers won't care/bother. 

I don't understand why updating driver knowledge of road rules ISN'T required. It seems to be it would be very easy to tie a driver license to an email address, and then each quarter/half/year a newsletter would be sent out en masse informing everyone to the latest changes/updates to the MVA.

Common sense isn't, I guess.

ICBC on line

Several years back I signed up with ICBC and do receive information and fill out questionaires. For example, the current campaign that has just been launched I was given a chance to go through couple of weeks ago. So go to the ICBC site and see if you can sign on. If nothing else it gives you a chance to give them your opinion.

I got one wrong on the signs and will continue to do so until they change the definition. Can't get any more direct than saying I am right and the world is wrong.

The sign is the one showing a car sliding around on the road. Definition "road maybe slipper when wet". Personally I believe it should be changed to "use caution road ahead maybe slippers".

Long story but will explain my reasoning. Winter conditions and was driving on a section of road that had been well salted. Road was wet with steady spray and one could hear the sound of tires on wet road. I past a few vehicles that were going slower than I wanted. We switched maintennance districts and immediately no noise from the tires and spray gone. I recognised that we were now driving on black ice. Slowed down, pulled into 4 wheel drive. The cars I had previously past on the wet road now speeded up and past me as they misread the road. They must have thought the road was bare and dry. Outcome of this story is the 5 cars that past me within a few kilometers 2 were in the ditch side by side on a curve and slightly further down the road one more was upside down in the ditch.

So I personally feel that they should take the "wet" out of the definition and that the road maybe slippers at anytime in that section and to use caution. That road maybe slipper when wet but let it drop below 0 and for many the road may appear dry but it is black ice. Far too many people fail to recognise this condition.

 

What is Low Hanging Fruit?

One of the challenges in achieving an effective traffic safety improvement program is not only knowing what is the low hanging fruit but also being able to access it.

The first graph below displays a combination of ICBC and BC Vital Statistics data.  (BC Vital Stats data for years more recent than 2011 has not yet been released.)   The graph suggests that notable improvements in traffic safety have been made by BC residents; such does not appear to be the case for non-residents.  In 2010 and 2011, non-residents comprised one of every three BC road fatalities.

The second graph shows marked reductions in fatalities of male and female drivers, as well as male and female passengers.  Minor changes occurred with respect to pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.  The biggest clump of low hanging fruit still appears to be male drivers in terms of harm to themselves, their passengers and external road users.  But if a significant portion of that bunch are non-residents drivers, how do you get to them with a provincial campaign?

BC Resident and Non-Resident Traffic Fatalities

 

BC Traffic Fatalities by Road User Type

Claims Costs

What does everyone think has caused the huge increase in crashes and claims cost on BC Roads?

I think it was Todd Stone’s policy of speeding up distracted, drugged , drunk driver with speed limit increases while dismissing new technology to address excessive speed.

Sadly so does the new NDP minority Government.

But I’m retired so it does not matter what I think. I thought the ER doctors, police and safety experts were right in their prediction on the consequences of raising speed limits.

There is nothing further to say.

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