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Police, ICBC remind drivers of long weekend road safety

It’s the last weekend before school’s back in session, meaning the roads and highways in and out of Greater Victoria will be packed with long-weekend vacationers and university students moving back to the region.

And with an increase in volume typically comes an increase in crashes and injuries, especially on long weekends.

ICBC recently released stats that show on average 290 crashes occur on Vancouver Island over the Labour Day long weekend. Some 80 people are injured in those crashes.

“More cars on the road means more chances of stuff happening, especially if people are in a rush to save time before school starts. Slow down, pay attention – it’s not worth trying to save an extra 10 minutes,” said Acting Sgt. Mike Bainbridge, with Saanich police’s traffic safety unit.

He said Saanich cops will be out looking for distracted, impaired and aggressive drivers.

ICBC says on average four people lose their lives on B.C. roads on the Labour Day long weekend – deaths that can be prevented.

Their reminders to be safe on the road include: ensure your vehicle (plus any boats or trailers you’re towing) is road safe; eliminate distractions inside the vehicle; and keep your distance, especially if the road is slick.

“Although VicPD’s traffic section won’t be out specifically targeting motorists, our general patrol officers will be busy looking for Motor Vehicle Act infractions, ensuring our safety on our roads,” said VicPD Const. Mike Russell. “It’s every driver’s responsibility to ensure all road users arrive at their destination.”

With the influx of post-secondary students returning to the Capital Region, Russell says that makes Labour Day a very busy weekend downtown. He said patrol officers will be out in full force, and working with Late Night Great Night Victoria to ensure the streets are safe.

And, as another reminder, Tuesday is the first day back at school, meaning the 30 km/h speed limit in school zones is back in effect.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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