Long weekend travellers urged to drive carefully as congestion builds

Long weekend travellers urged to drive carefully as congestion builds
WatchLong weekend travellers are asked to drive with caution as roads and ferries are expected to be busy. Mackenzie Read has more.

Long weekend travellers are asked to drive with caution as roads and ferries are expected to be busy.

According to BC Ferries, sailings Friday night through Saturday morning are filling quickly, with many having less than 20 per cent capacity between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen.

Reservations are also filling up, with the majority booked for Friday and Saturday.

The company is strongly recommending travellers book in advance, if possible, and travel at non-peak times to avoid sailing waits.

Roads are also expected to be busy, which urged road safety companies like BCAA to remind drivers to drive carefully.

Josh Smythe, BCAA customer care manager, said this includes being patient, giving yourself extra time to get to your destination, packing extra water and snack, planning your routes and keeping an eye on your fuel levels and other indicators.

“Especially pay close attention to the temperature gauge,” Smythe said. “If it starts to rise more than it should or more than it has in the past, it’s better to pull over and have it cool down than to continue on and cause bigger problems.”

He added travellers should also have alternate routes planned in case there are delays or detours along the initial route.

Delays can be caused by a number of things like collisions or construction.

Road Safety at Work said the number of construction zones increase in the summer months.

The organization is asking drivers to slow down in work zones as road conditions can vary through them and people are working through them.

Trace Acres, program director, said it’s very important to follow all the road signs, follow directions from traffic controllers, and give them space.

“I saw a comment from one traffic control person who said if I’m having to stop traffic, don’t stop right in front of me. Give me about six or 10 feet because if someone comes up behind you and they don’t see that that vehicle is stopped, they could push that vehicle right into the worker,” Acres stated.

He said this is also important for emergency vehicles or tow trucks that could be parked on the side of the road, adding it’s important to slow down and move over.

According to Road Safety at Work, two roadside workers were killed and 31 were seriously injured in B.C. last year. In the last 10 years, 12 were killed and 221 seriously injured across the province.

“We would definitely like to see those numbers decline,” Acres added. “We would absolutely like to see those numbers get to zero if at all possible. To do that we need the cooperation of everyone who is on the roads and coming across work zones.”

He added roadside workers will also be under more pressure over the long weekend as they deal with increased traffic and temperatures from the heat wave currently lingering across B.C.

Smythe added those temperatures will also heat the inside of your car as it sits in the sun.

“If the temperature is a mild 23 degrees outside, within a 10-minute period it can spike to 30 or 32 and continue to grow,” Smythe said. “Please do not leave friends, family, pets or any living thing inside the car parked, windows opened or closed in this type of weather.”

He said it will be extra important to have extra water while travelling and if you have a medical emergency, call 911.

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Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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