Road Safety Vision, Vision Zero and B.C. Road Safety Strategy, three programs that you will see mentioned repeatedly on this site. However, what you won't see are the results of these programs. I used my favourite search engine this morning to try and track down some results that show the aims in these programs being met, or changes that are being made because what we are doing is not working.
What did I find? A single report from the City of Edmonton that shows progress being made there.
Of interest to me is the opening statement:
To reach the long-term goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries, it’s critical to know where, when and why collisions happen. Traffic Safety put measures into place and will monitor the results of the changes. This evidence-based approach determines next steps and shows what is working and what could be done better.
How does BC measure up?
- We're not required to report collisions to the police
- The police are no longer reporting on minor collisions
- Police are not attending minor collisions
What do you think?
If you do not have a user account, send me your thoughts and I will post them here for you.
My information maybe obsolete as I have been retired for 20 years.
Back in the good old days WCB required me as an owner to have a safety meeting monthly and to keep minutes of the meeting. As I was a consultant some of the companies I contracted to required copies. If there was an accident on one of the work sites, whether you were involved or not, there was a safety meeting help to review and forward suggestions on how to improve safety.
Currently on our highways the cops close the highways for hours, sometimes waiting up to four hours for an accident reconstructionist to arrive, then they take a myriad of measurements, photos etc. all the while keeping the highway closed. Must make sure we have all the details.
Does anyone ever see these reports? I've never heard of them being released. If you asked for a copy would probably be told they can't be released due to Privacy Concerns and now it appears they are not even shared with Road Safety Vision, Vision Zero and B.C. Road Safety Strategy, three programs that apparently are supposed to improve our highway safety yet they have nothing.
Is there not something missing here?
When people are reluctant to share information it normally implies that what they are collecting is garbage and often contradicts the theories they have been promoting for decades. Is this what is happening here? Could it be that what has been provided as the major cause of accidents on our highways is not supported by the data collected? Rather than falsify reports to uphold their theories it is easier just to file away never to be used.
You know it is a lot easier to sit on the side of the road in an air conditioned vehicle and pick off speeders rather than to put the effort into removing the dangerous drivers, many who are the drivers that have been praised previously for being the safe drivers. Is this why nothing is being forwarded?
If the reports are not being used a new policy needs to be implemented. Soon as people at the scene have been looked after the highway has to be opened to traffic within 15 minutes. Reports are not being used so why collect data? Garbage in garbage out.
I spent 10 of the 20 years I was in traffic enforcement as one of those technical collision investigators.
Where we could preserve the evidence to gather, we opened as many lanes as possible to traffic. This decision is not solely that of the police as highway closures require the permission of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
We had very good relations with the Ministry and the road maintenance contractors, sharing information with them from our investigations to try and keep the same thing from happening again. They did not need the report itself, just a letter outlining what was found and suggestions for improvement. Sometimes it was simply a sit down meeting where the incident was discussed.
I saw changes made because of this.
Most often the report was required by the courts and those responsible for liability. They were used to prosecute criminal charges and civil actions.
Of course, these are all major incidents and the numbers, thankfully, are small in comparison to minor injury and property damage only collisions. These are the incidents that are not being investigated and reported on.
The trouble is, the difference between a fender bender and something more serious can just be a matter of luck. If it happens often enough, sooner or later that catastophe occurs. ICBC is still keeping track of where collisions occur, but the how and why might not be so clear anymore.
It may be more difficult to decide what to do in order to cure the problem.
Read the Edmonton report last week. They appear to be sharing information.
The information maybe shared amongst agencies but with industrial accidents the information gathered was shared amongst everyone, even those not involved. I would expect that is what is going to happen in Kelowna. You may not have been involved in its removal but in the future if you saw a similar situation you could alert.
A friend of mine refers to these little groups as "Mutual admiration Societies". How long did it take to see the changes made? Could changes be implemented quicker if more people were involved?
And as few ever see the reports someone like me that feels there is a biasis going into the investigation only have it confirmed as one never sees what the conclusion was. Information withheld accomplished nothing.