Playing it Safe in the Summer
Make this summer a fun and safe one for you and your family by taking some precautions.
Don’t be a target of property crime
Every summer police see an increase in thefts in seasonal recreational areas.
Property left in driveways, carports, backyards, or out at your summer properties are prime targets for thieves. Items such as boat motors, boats and trailers, personal water craft (Jet Ski’s), dirt bikes, motorbikes, scooters, and ATV’s should be stored and secured properly.
Many summer seasonal recreation items are portable, and valuable and are popular with thieves.
- Do not store items on trailers.
- Clean out your garage so you can use it to store your valuable items inside.
- Purchase a trailer lock that cannot be cut by bolt cutters.
- If you are away from your seasonal property for an extended period of time ensure it is well locked, windows are secured, and valuable items are removed.
- Check your property periodically or make arrangements for someone to check it for you.
Don’t be a victim of vehicle theft
When using day use seasonal recreational areas ensure all valuables are removed from your vehicle, and ensure your vehicle is secured with an anti-theft devise. Thieves don’t take a vacation but they wait for you to!
- Keep registrations papers with you and ensure your address even in the form of opened mail is not left in your vehicle.
- Never leave personal items including mobile phones, wallets, handbags or briefcases in sight and remove them from your vehicle when ever possible.
- Never leave your car running while it's unattended - not even for a minute!
- Use an Auto Theft prevention device whenever possible.
- A self-alarming electronic immobiliser is one of the most effective forms of car security you can get but a basic wheel locking device is also inexpensive and will help keep your vehicle secure.
Don’t be a part of a motor vehicle collision
Drive smart and get to places safely.
- Plan ahead: Impairment starts with your first drink, not after you’ve had a few. It’s fine to celebrate a sunny long weekend with a few beers and friends but if your activities are going to involve alcohol, arrange for a safe way home. Make plans to have a designated driver, take a taxi, public transit or call a friend or family member for a ride home.
- Be realistic: …about your travel times and check the road situation before you leave. Check www.drivebc.com for possible highway closures before heading out and allow extra time for delays that may occur, especially over the long weekend when more vehicles will be on the road. Relax… it’s a long weekend after all.
- Slow down and keep your distance: Slow down, especially if we get some unexpected rain, or if you’re driving on uneven roads. Always follow the posted speed limits in construction and playground zones. Weaving in and out of traffic is one of the top five high-risk behaviours that cause car crashes. Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt and keep your distance. Even with a lot of sunshine and favourable road conditions, you need to allow at least two seconds of following distance, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads. The latter also applies if you’re behind a motorcycle since it has a much shorter stopping distance.
- Buckle up: If you don’t wear your seatbelt, you are 25 times more likely to be killed in a crash if ejected from the vehicle. In a 50 km/h head-on crash, a 150-pound adult not wearing a seatbelt will collide with other occupants, strike the inside of the vehicle or get thrown from the car with the same force as the weight of a 3½-ton truck.
- Prep and secure your cargo, equipment, trailer or boat for towing: When improperly set up, the vehicle can become unstable, puting yourself and others on the road at risk. Click for towing tips
- Set an example: ...to your children and other drivers by being courteous and safe on the road. Your smart driving decisions can have a significant influence on others. So set an example, whether you’re a driver or passenger.
Kids or pets left in vehicles could be disastrous
Your car is basically a miniature greenhouse and temperatures can skyrocket extremely quickly inside. Don’t leave children or pets in parked vehicles. Not even parked in the shade. Not even with the window slightly cracked. On an average summer day, the inside of a parked vehicle can reach a dangerously high temperature of over 38 degrees Celsius in minutes.
Plan your trip accordingly and, if you need to make a "quick stop" then, for the health and safety of your child, take your child with you even if it means getting them out of their car seat.
Heat stroke may occur very quickly and unexpectedly in children and pets causing symptoms such as dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, loss of consciousness, and/or death.
If you see a pet or a child in distress inside a parked vehicle call 9-1-1 immediately.
Don’t push your limits when playing in water
Many drowning instances we have seen over the years have been as a result of fatigue and being too far from shore.
- If you cannot swim stay out of the water and seek the shade instead.
- Wear a personal flotation device. This is always a good idea for kids and adults alike. We have many rivers in our area that have been underestimated resulting in tragic outcomes.
- Tubers: be sure to wear a life jacket and a helmet.
- Do not put your feet in fast moving water that is deeper than the length of your arm. If a foot becomes entrapped by rocky bottom in deep water, the current will eventually push the swimmer over face first into the water.
- Remember alcohol and water don't mix.
- Watch your speed. Don't race to the lake, and don’t race on the lake. Speed is a major contributor to incidents on the roadways and on the water. Slow down.
Don’t get lost in the backcountry
Stay on the beaten path. If you do not know the area you are travelling in, a number of dangers could present themselves.
- Don't go alone, and if you travel to the back country go prepared.
- Have a return time planned, and let someone know ‘exactly’ where you are going.
- Take basic items with you even on a day trip just in case (map, compass, flashlight, matches, first aid kit including a emergency blanket, and appropriate clothing are a must.)
- Bring along ample food and water.
- Know your own limits and stay on or near the beaten path.
- Know the area, and never separate from those you are hiking with.
- Bring along an emergency locator beacon or a fully charged cell phone with a GPS unit .
Do your part in protecting yourself, your Family, and your community
Police intervention before things get out of control is always a better option.
Contact the local RCMP or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477):
- if you have information on criminal activity while out enjoying the summer
- to report alcohol related disturbances
- if you spot an impaired driver:
- unreasonably fast or slow speeds or inconsistency in speeds
- frequent lane changing
- swerving when passing
- ignoring traffic signals and signs
- jerky starts and stops
- driving at night without lights
- approaching traffic signals and signs unreasonably fast or slow
- sitting at stop signs for long periods of time
- driving with the windows down in cold weather
- driving with the head partly or completely out the window
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