Road Safety Solutions for Your Neighbourhood

Road Safety Starts With YouThere is nothing like a near miss or collision to focus your mind on road safety. I often hear from people hoping to enlist my help in solving their issue. Requests have ranged from posting lower speed limits to constructing left turn lanes recently. Most people have already tried something on their own and are frustrated with what they see as the authorities not wanting to apply what they see as the solution.

We live in an age of access to information. In fact, there is so much of it on the internet that one has to be careful that they are reading reliable information instead of rants, rumours and opposing points of view. However, by doing some research with respected sources, you can create a logical, comprehensive identification of the problem and useful solutions to present to the authorities to deal with your issue.

ICBC maintains crash maps for the province that currently contain data from 2009 to 2014 showing casualty crashes, property damage crashes or both together. It is a bit cumbersome to locate a specific area, but you can find any place of interest with a little trial and error. This would allow you to accurately cite a collision history if there is one at your location. Causal factors for the collisions are not listed, but this information can be requested if crashes have occurred.

There are a number of Canadian organizations and universities that provide road safety audit guidelines. These PDF manuals are available for download by anyone with an interest. ICBC has applied audits as part of the Road Improvement Program. The aim is to solve both existing problems and design new roads more safely.

Traffic calming measures include more than just speed bumps. Drivers can be influenced by the environment they are in and slowed without using speed bumps or limit signs. Better Environmentally Sound Transportation is a BC non-profit that facilitates programs that includes one called Living Streets. According to their web site, it provides provides its participants with an opportunity to have positive and productive interactions with municipal planners and subsequently generates useful information for the future development of these neighbourhoods.

A good example of what one can do on their own is Matthew Boyd’s Feltham Village Project. Granted, he is a senior planner with BC Transit in Victoria, but the project is an objective look at issues in his neighbourhood along with suggested solutions. You could either borrow his solutions or follow his example and create a blog of your own.

To understand one Canadian road safety perspective clearly, I recommend reading No Accident – Eliminating Injury and Death on Canadian Roads by Neil Arason. Neil is also a Victoria resident who has significant experience in road safety research. He blogs about road safety problems and solutions as well.

So, if your two paragraph letter to city council requesting the installation of a stop sign at the end of your street was rejected and the safety issue is really important to you, do some research and try again. Justification may bring success or you may even be able to provide a better solution that is acceptable to everyone. Sometimes success requires learning and trying again.

Comments

Road Safety

    I find the Road signs to  be completely ineffective . I see signs posted Littering is prohibited $2000 fines . Where the signs stating that Speeding is Prohibited , the fines that can imposed and a phone number to report speeders . There is little to deter these unsafe drivers , in fact hwy signs , Let others Pass ,depict the drivers in the right as SLOW drivers ( car is colored in black ) black is bad  and the car passing in the left is green , thats a GO . Subliminal message there it's okay to Speed ! One speeding driver entices others to follow I have witnessed this numerous times , so probiting that first speeder is imperitive . I live in Forest Grove a small community with one Stop sign ( that barely anyone stops at ) with Logging trucks going past my house sometimes every 5 mins ( speed limit is 50km ) barely anyone does the speed limit , slowing down only to cruise around the corner at the stop sign . The worst are what I suspect are the Heavy Machinery Operators with there trucks covered in road muck and a Tidy Tank in the back . I witnessed one yesterday speeding through the 50km zone and then just turning at the stop sign , barely slowing down . good luck getting that license plate . People rarely walk on Canim-Hendrix Lake Road in Forest Grove and kids certainly don't ride their bikes . Complaining to the RCMP ,and logging truck company's only leads to more noise from the logging trucks ( use of engine brakes , there is a sign prohiting that at both ends of town ) I have seen logging trucks go by that are very quite so I know it can be done . The trucking company logo should be easier to read  and identify . I report speeding commerical vehicles whenever possible to the RCMP ( they have numerous complaints of speeders from the residents of Forest Grove ) BC Hydro vehicles constantly speed through here . I phoned BC Hydro to report one of their vehicles speeding and I was told I would have to give them the lisence plate # and the # on the truck , how ridiculous. They know exactly who was driving that vehicle , they have to time in and pick up the keys somewhere .They do not have the right to disobey road signs anywhere , nor does any driver . Safety on roads is non existant in my opinion , it's a free for all , do what you want !

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