8 Tips to Keep You Safe at Rail Crossings

April 28, 2014
Rail Safety Week

  April 28 to May 4 marks Rail Safety Week in Canada, and we’re using that opportunity to remind you: “See tracks? Think train!” Based on the decline in rail-related accidents in recent years, it’s a message that people are hearing. But messages about saving lives are always worth repeating to make sure they’re top-of-mind and we don’t become complacent. It all comes down to this: if you need to cross a rail line, approach it expecting to see a train and only cross when it’s safe. With that thought in mind, let’s look at some related tips our friends at Operation Lifesaver  put together to keep you safe at rail crossings: Never drive around lowered gates – it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local emergency number. Never race a train...

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Making Room for Wider Sidewalks on the Second Narrows Bridge

April 23, 2014
Second Narrows Bridge sidewalk

Before we can widen the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Bridge sidewalks, we have to make a little room. Last year, the ministry started looking at replacing the pedestrian railings on the bridge to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians since the narrow sidewalks  are a major constriction for travelers. After a thorough technical review earlier this year, it was decided to widen both sidewalks from 1.2 to 2.5 metres, install a new three-metre high safety fence and convert the bridge lighting to energy efficient LED lights. All good for increased safety and promoting mobility. To do that, we must first remove the previous sidewalks before constructing the new ones. Unfortunately the signs are in the way. Specifically, the supports for the existing signs are located outside the existing sidewalks therefore the new supports will be relocated along the inside of the new sidewalk. The new sidewalk will wrap around the new...

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Why is that Cyclist in my Lane? A Question of Cycling Safety

April 22, 2014
Dont Ride Here 2

We get a lot of questions and comments about cycling safety here at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, so in our ongoing effort to improve the safety of cyclists (and other travellers), here’s another important reminder to look out for them and explain why you might see them riding in front of you as you drive. Often, there’s a bike lane or shoulder for cyclists to ride on, so they’re out of the way of traffic, and it’s easy to drive by them. But sometimes it’s not practicable for a cyclist to ride out of the way or even near the right side of the lane. There could be a number of different reasons for this, but usually it’s because the lane is too narrow to let them move over safely. Sometimes this isn’t obvious. In the picture above, for example, a car should be able to squeeze...

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7 Ways to Travel Safely this Easter Weekend

April 17, 2014
Easter Long Weekend.

Easter long weekend is here, the weather is getting nicer, and hitting the road to see family and friends is on the agenda. It’s really important you get to where you’re going safely (especially because there’s some wintery driving conditions on a few of our highways). Every year, over the Easter holiday, an average of three people are killed and 670 injured in 2,300 crashes throughout BC. That’s not good. Our friends over at the Office of the Superintendents of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) and us put together some tips to help drivers prepare for a safe road trip: Be prepared: Weather conditions can change suddenly at this time of year, especially when travelling over long distances. Check the road and weather conditions for your entire trip at drivebc.ca which features over 400 webcam views throughout the province. Get a tune-up: Remember to check the engine oil, washer fluid and...

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Malahat Safety Improvements: Round Two

April 14, 2014

It’s full steam ahead for a second round of safety improvements on the Malahat, with work expected to kick off in May and finish in the spring of 2015. Once this work is completed, over 50% of the Malahat will have median barriers.  These improvements were identified in the 2012 Malahat Corridor study, and were also identified as a priority by the Malahat Advisory Group, which includes local residents, commuters, first responders and safety advocates. Those upgrades we’re planning include: extension of the southbound passing lane and median barrier of “NASCAR Corner” (as known to locals) continuation of median barriers immediately north and south of this area. constructing U-turns on the side of the highway at either end of the new barrier, located at the side of Shawnigan Lake road and on the side of the highway north of the summit Safety of the travelling public is our number...

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What is a Garbage Gobbler? A Kitschy, Cool and Beloved Piece of BC Highway History

April 8, 2014
BC Highway Garbage Gobbler

Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we? Back to the days when things moved a little more slowly, perhaps around 1959. Slide into a larger vehicle, one built for style, say… an Edsel?  Bring the whole family on a motoring adventure and explore Beautiful British Columbia.Take one of our many modern highway systems, each a marvel of 20th century engineering. Outside you will see a seemingly endless variety of scenery. Please don’t spoil the scenery by being a litter bug! Remember to collect your trash and deposit in our Garbage Gobblers along your way. Created in the late 1950s, the Garbage Gobbler is a truly cool piece of transportation history. The first Garbage Gobblers were designed and created by Len Shaw, for the B.C. Parks Branch in the 1950s. Originally made from concrete (and later with fiberglass), Gobblers were placed across the province in B.C. Parks and...

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New BC HighwayCams: Fraser Valley and Up North

April 3, 2014
Tete Jaune Cache

It must be spring, because new BC HighwayCams are popping up here, there and everywhere. Travellers in the Fraser Valley will appreciate two new cams with a total of eight views (four each)  just launched on Highway 1 at 232nd and 264th Avenues. Here is the easterly cam for 232nd: And here is the northerly cam for 232nd: BC Highway 16 also just came alive at Tete Jaune Cache. Looking good out there! We are always adding to our list of webcam views, so check back on DriveBC often or check out some of our other stories here on TranBC to learn more about “The Webcam Guy” or other FAQs we get about DriveBC HighwayCams. If you still have a burning question, let us know in the comments below and we will be happy to get you an answer.

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