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10 Tips For A Safe Victoria Day Long Weekend

Written on: May 19th, 2018

The Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of summer! And after the long winter, we’ve faced, we are all ready to get summer underway. As Calgary residents and an influx of tourists head out to the mountains, cabins, campgrounds, and lakes this weekend, the risk of accidents rises – particularly vehicle and boating incidents. Here are some road and oat safety tips to help you and your family have a safe start to your summer.

Road Safety Tips

Calgary sees more fatalities over long weekends than other weekends because of the higher volume of people on the road. This weekend, we will see RVs, motorcycles, and bicycles all sharing the road with motorists. We need to drive defensively, watch for other motorists, and share the road.

It’s no coincidence that Canada Road Safety Week typically falls over the May Long Weekend, a collective effort by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Traffic Safety Committee. It was established to increase public compliance with road laws and safe driving measures.

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 is asking motorists to obey posted speed limits, don’t drink and drive, and always wear their seatbelts while in a motor vehicle.

Remember… Getting home safely is the most important part of the drive!

Boat Safety Tips

  • Check local weather conditions – Always check the weather before departure for chances of thunderstorms and heavy rain. If you’re out on the water and you notice a sudden temperature drop or darkening skies, play it safe and get out of the water.
  • Create a pre-departure checklist – A pre-departure checklist helps ensure that you and your passengers are aware of boating safety rules and precautions. Be sure to have must-have items required by regulations such as personal flotation devices, fire extinguishers, visual distress signals, and sound signal devices.
  • Make sure all operators are licensed – The Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) is a mandatory boating license for anyone operating a pleasure craft with any type of motor. There are many accredited organizations to choose from – check Transport Canada’s list of Boating Safety Course Providers.
  • Be alert at all times – Operate at a safe speed, be alert in crowded areas, steer clear of other watercraft and large vessels, and be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids.
  • Have an assistant – Make sure to designate another person on board who is licensed, can operate the boat, and is familiar with boating safety tips.
  • Inform someone of your float plan – Create a float plan that includes where you’re going, an estimated time of how long you’ll be gone, your name, address, and phone number, name and phone number of all passengers, boat type, and types of communication onboard. Be sure to give this information to a family, friend, or local marina. In case of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, this will assist with rescue efforts.
  • Use life jackets – Did you know that most drowning victims of boating accidents weren’t wearing a lifejacket? This highlights the importance of making sure that you and all of your passengers are fitted with a life jacket prior to departure.
  • Don’t drink and boat – Much like drinking and driving, the risk of getting in a boating accident increases when alcohol is involved. Operating a boat under the influence is an offense under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Last but certainly not least, our best tip is to have fun. Celebrate the (unofficial) start of summer and the warmer months ahead. Have a great May Long weekend from the team at Alberta Storage Place!

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