West Shore RCMP offers summer driving safety tips

Some simple hints to help make West Shore roads safer for all

West Shore RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz is offering a number of safety tips for drivers

A rash of recent incidents, including the death of a pedestrian on Goldstream Avenue in Langford, is prompting police to remind drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike to slow down, take your time and be cautious.

West Shore RCMP Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz said the return of fair weather can bring out the worst in drivers, breeding overconfidence in good driving conditions. It also brings out more pedestrians and cyclists, as people emerge from a winter spent mainly indoors.

“Our days are getting longer and people are out enjoying the pleasant weather,” Rochlitz said. “So it’s a timely reminder to talk about some safety. … Everybody’s got to do their part.”

While no specific programs are in place as a response to the recent incidents, she said RCMP have identified road and traffic safety as priorities for enforcement this year. Police are making efforts to be more visible and are targeting specific behaviours, such as distracted driving from cell-phone use.

Pedestrians are reminded to make eye contact with drivers and cyclists before crossing the road and to take time to use marked crosswalks.

Drivers need to make eye contact with pedestrians at crosswalks, but also in intersections, Rochlitz said.

While drivers tend to keep a close eye on traffic, such as in a four-way stop, they sometimes fail to notice people crossing the road.

“(You’re) rushing it, trying to find that hole in traffic,” she said. When drivers have that sense of  ‘I need to make a move, I need to go,’ she added, it creates trouble because they’re not paying attention to their full field of view.

Obeying amber lights – not racing to beat the red – increases intersection safety, especially when drivers in the opposite direction are waiting to turn left.

In general, drivers need to slow down, have patience and pay attention, Rochlitz said.

“People don’t give themselves five to 10 minutes of wiggle room. They’re (thinking), ‘I’ve got to get there. I’m late for work. I’m rushing home because I have to pick the kids up.’ All of those types of things play into these situations.”

Cyclists are reminded to ride on the right-hand side and to stay off sidewalks, unless the skill level or age of the rider makes it unsafe for them to be on the road.

Following these basic rules will help to avoid some of the incidents seen lately, Rochlitz said.

“When we are courteous and communicate with others, the systems work.”

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

Round, round we go

Roundabouts can be a source of confusion and frustration for drivers and pedestrians. Observing a few simple rules can help you navigate your way around:

• Signal to get off the roundabout so that those waiting to get on know it is safe to do so

• If a driver isn’t signalling, assume they are continuing around the roundabout and don’t try to pull in front of them

• Don’t enter the roundabout until you are sure it is safe to do so

• As you exit, watch for people on crosswalks and be prepared to stop

Just Posted

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Victoria’s oldest pipes to be replaced this year

The pipes along Cook Street were installed in 1891 and are made of bricks

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

WATCH: Medieval fighters train in Colwood

Fighters are gearing up for world championships in medieval combat

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read