ON THE ROAD with Harvey: Tips for a happy and safe summer season

 

BY HARVEY KOONER

ICBC Road Safety Coordinator

 

HOT weather has arrived, summer’s in full swing and it’s no secret many summer activities often involve a few drinks.

Unfortunately, even just a few drinks can sometimes lead to tragic consequences. During the summer months, 42 people on average are killed in impaired driving-related crashes. These tragedies are both preventable and unnecessary.

The CounterAttack campaign, which started more than 35 years ago, is a partnership between police, government and ICBC, which involves roadblocks and education to help reduce injuries and fatalities caused by impaired drivers. Although attitudes towards drinking and driving have certainly changed dramatically since its launch, there are still people who take chances or make excuses for drinking and driving.

Police across the province will be out in full force targeting impaired drivers this summer but it’s important to remember road safety begins before we, as drivers, even get behind the wheel.

Here are some tips to help yourself, friends and family get home safely this summer:

  1. Plan ahead

Before leaving the house, make arrangements for your safe return. Whether you organize a designated driver, call a taxi or take public transit, there are a number of options available.

  1. Take advantage of designated driver services

Many communities now have designated driver services, where volunteers help make sure you, your passengers and vehicle get home safely. Check with your restaurant or pub server for details or look into it online.

  1. Be the DD

Volunteer to be the designated driver and share the responsibility of helping your friends and family get home safely. As the designated driver, set ground rules with your passengers before you start driving – no drinking in the car, no hanging out the window and make sure everyone buckles up. If your passengers behave in a way that makes you feel unsafe, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so.

  1. Provide options

Throwing a backyard BBQ? Please be a responsible host by making sure a selection of non-alcoholic beverages are available, helping guests organize transportation and, if necessary, letting them stay overnight. If your party has a guest list of 50-100 people, you can apply to receive a special occasion support kit from ICBC. Visit icbc.com to learn more.