BC Forest Safety Council Urges Driver Safety

August 25, 2008

With a long weekend approaching, the BC Forest Safety Council and Ministry of Forests and Range are reminding all drivers to use extra caution on the roads. Minister Pat Bell says the reminder is important because lost lives and injuries on the roads can be prevented and road safety extends beyond the forest industry.

“As someone who knows what it’s like to drive a 40,000 kilogram truck of wood down the road, I can tell you that you need to be sharp to ensure that you, the load and everyone around you is safe,” says Bell.

MaryAnne Arcand, director of the Council’s Forestry TruckSafe and Northern Initiatives program says increased traffic over long weekends can create more situations for things to go wrong.

“Drivers need to realize what they’re up against when they hit the roads during the summer holiday periods,” explains Arcand. “There are more truckers, vehicles, cyclists, recreational vehicles and motorbikes on the road and it’s important for drivers to be aware of this and go one step further to ensure they’re being safe.”

Arcand says four key road safety tips can help to keep drivers safe behind the wheel:

  1. Keep focused on the road ahead. Avoid loud music, drinking and eating and talking on a cell phone.
  2. Get lots of sleep. Being too tired can be dangerous on the road. After 15 hours of driving, you are as impaired as if you had a .05 blood alcohol reading.
  3. Wear your seat belt, don’t drink and drive and don’t speed. RCMP say these are the top three causes of serious injuries and fatalities due to crashes.
  4. Give lots of room to trucks and remember to stay on your side of the road. More than 70 per cent of crashes between commercial trucks and private vehicles occur because private motorists have either crossed the centre line or followed too close.

To find out more information about the BC Forest Safety Council and its programs or initiatives, visit its web site at www.bcforestsafe.org.

The BC Forest Safety Council is a not-for-profit society dedicated to promoting forest health and safety. It was founded and is supported by all major forestry organizations in BC and works with forestry employers, workers, contractors and the provincial government and agencies to implement changes necessary to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in the forest sector.

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