The Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. After the long winter we have faced we are all ready to get summer underway. Here are some road safety tips to keep you and your family have a safe start to your summer. The two key areas we would like to address are road safety and boat safety.
Road Safety On the long weekends we always see more fatalities than other weekends because of the higher volume of people on the road. This weekend we will see RV’s, motorcycles, and bicycles all sharing the road with motorists. We need to drive defensively, watch for other motorists, and share the road.
Canada Road Safety Week is a collective effort by Canadian police services to aggressively enforce laws that govern the high-risk behaviors of road users. This campaign, which includes the Victoria Day weekend, begins on Tuesday, May 15th, and ends Monday, May 21, 2018, inclusive.
Policing efforts will be concentrated on:
- Impaired driving (alcohol and drugs)
- Seatbelt violations
- Cell phone use & other handheld mobile devices (distracted driving)
- Aggressive driving (speeding)
- Intersection safety
- Vehicle equipment and document related violations.
The RCMP are asking motorists to obey posted speed limits, don’t drink and drive and always wear your seatbelt while in a motor vehicle.
Remember… Getting home safely is the most important part of the drive! For the full article http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/news/2018/canada-road-safety-week-2018.
The weather this weekend looks like it will be ideal to get your boat out, possibly for the first time this year. The top ten safety tips come straight from Discover Boating, as follows:
- Be weather wise – Always check local weather conditions before departure- TV and radio forecasts can be a good source of information. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds, or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.
- Follow a Pre-Departure Checklist – Proper boating safety means being prepared for any possibility on the water. From compliance with fire safety regulations to tips for fueling up, following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been forgotten.
- Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card – Your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) is a bit like a driver’s license and once you have your PCOC it’s yours for life. The PCOC is mandatory for anyone operating a pleasure craft with any type of motor, and the operator should be sure to have their original PCOC card “on board”. There are a lot of options for your get your PCOC card and you can find a list by using this link to get to a current list of Transport Canada approved course providers. You can take the test from any of these approved companies and once you pass, they will provide you with your PCOC.
- Use Common Sense – One of the most important parts of boating safety is to know the rules and to use your common sense. This means operating at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Be alert at all times, and steer clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn. Also, be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there for one reason only- to ensure your own boating safety.
- Designate an Assistant Skipper – Make sure more than only one person on board is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s handling, operations, and other boating safety tips. If the primary navigator is injured or incapacitated in any way, it’s important to make sure someone else can follow the proper boating safety rules to get everyone else back to shore. Remember that anyone operating the boat must have their PCOC.
- Develop a Float Plan – Whether you choose to inform a family member or staff at your local marina, always be sure to let someone else know your float plan. This should include where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone. A float plan can include the following information: name, address, and phone number of trip leader; name and phone number of all passengers; boat type and registration information; trip itinerary; and types of communication and signal equipment onboard.
- Make Proper Use of Lifejackets – Did you know that the majority of drowning victims resulting from boating accidents were found not to be wearing a lifejacket (also called a personal flotation device or PFD)? Make sure that your family and friends aren’t part of this statistic by assigning and fitting each member of your onboard team with a lifejacket-prior to departure.
- Don’t Mix Alcohol and Boating – Practise boating safety at all times by saving the alcohol for on land. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved and studies have also shown that the effect of alcohol is exacerbated by external effects such as sun and wind. Just like driving under the influence, boating under the influence of alcohol is an offense under the Criminal Code of Canada.
- Learn to Swim – If you’re going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety means knowing how to swim. Local organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross and others offer training for all ages and abilities – check to see what classes are offered in your area.
- Take a Boating Course – Beginning boaters and experienced experts alike need be familiar with boating safety rules of operation. In addition to the mandatory PCOC for any boat operator, you should also consider additional courses so that you can boat with confidence. It’s always important to be educated, aware, and prepared for every circumstance that might arise.