Tips, Talk and Insight from the Slater Vecchio Team

How Motorists Can Protect Cyclists on the Road

cyclist safety A drunk motorist struck and killed a cyclist in Toronto this week. According to the Montreal Gazette, this incident comes two weeks after Toronto architect and cyclist Roger du Toit died following a collision with a SUV.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information noted that Canadian cyclists injured in motorist accidents resulted in 3,155 emergency room visits in 2012-13. According to ICBC, 1500 BC cyclists were injured in 2013 resulting in 13 fatalities.

It is important for motorists to keep safety in mind while sharing the streets with cyclists this summer. Here are a few things to remember:

  1. Motorists should never honk their horns at cyclists unless they are doing so for safety reasons. Startled cyclists may lose control of their bicycles and could get injured.
  2. Motorists making right turns must check their mirrors and blind spots to ensure there are no cyclists attempting to go past them.
  3. Motorists should allow cyclists a safe space to ride on the street.
  4. Neighborhoods are full of new and young cyclists. Motorists must exercise extra caution while travelling through residential areas.
  5. Motorists should pass cyclists without forcing them off the road. Motorists should also slow down while passing cyclists making sure not to alarm them.


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Increasing Fines for Distracted Drivers

bigger fines for distracted drivingWhat do you think the fine for distracted driving should be? Should distracted drivers have their cars impounded and receive roadside suspensions similar to drunk drivers?

Texting while driving is a bigger hazard than drunk drivers. Canada’s CTV News reported that 47 out of the 177 deaths on the province on Ontario’s highways in 2013 involved distracted drivers, compared to 32 killed in alcohol impaired driving-related incidents.

Distracted driving is the second-leading cause of deadly car crashes in BC.

Distracted Driver Fines

Currently, BC drivers ticketed for distracted driving are charged a $167 fine and issued three penalty points, the second lowest penalty in Canada.

Fines in Nova Scotia were raised from $176 to $234 for a first offence, and from $350 to $579 for any additional offences. Ontario’s maximum distracted driver fine is $1000.

The BC Government Wants Your Opinion


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Defiant Left Lane Drivers Face Heavy Fines

left lane driver fines BC Drivers clogging highway passing lanes will face hefty fines and penalties.

“Drivers who won’t move over can impede traffic and contribute to crashes. This new rule makes it clear who should travel in the left lane, and when, promoting safety on our highways,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone in a CBC article. “It’s going to take time and it is going to take a coordinated effort,” Stone added.

No one likes a left lane blocker according to DriveSmartBC. They take over the left lane and are oblivious to surrounding traffic. They wrongly believe if they are driving the speed limit, there is no need for them to share the passing lane with others.

Studies show regularly driving in the left lane causes traffic congestion and encourages dangerous driving and tailgating behaviour.

The new legislation states that drivers must stick to the right unless: READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Open Windows are Killing Children

how to stop child fallsAccording to The Province, six BC children fell from unsafe windows and balconies during the past week. Some of the six children are suffering with serious brain trauma and broken limbs according to BC Children’s Hospital.

A team of BC doctors and paramedics are teaming up to prevent child falls by raising awareness and issuing warnings. With more dry weather in the forecast, parents are jeopardizing the lives of their children by keeping windows and balcony doors open.

How to Prevent Child Falls

  1. Windows that open no wider than a fist require a lock. Window screens do not prevent falls. The screen’s sole use is to keep bugs out, not keep children in.
  2. Caregivers need to make sure furniture is not pushed up next to an open window or balcony at home or at homes they visit.
  3. Never leave your children unattended on balconies, decks or near unsafe windows.
  4. Don’t underestimate your child’s mobility; they crawl before they walk.
  5. Discourage your children from climbing onto furniture to peer out windows.
  6. Install window guards on all windows and/or fasten the windows so that they can’t open more than 10 centimetres.


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Vancouver’s Cyclists Will Enjoy Safer Streets

vancouver cyclist safety improvementsRecent studies confirm Vancouver is not a mobile-friendly city ranking it 46th out of 122 cities around the globe. However, Vancouver cyclists will enjoy safer road conditions this fall with changes to the BC Motor Vehicle Act.

According to the Vancouver Sun, a committee is expected to make recommendations to the provincial government about updates to the Motor Vehicle Act that would make it “more friendly to vulnerable road users.” The committee is composed of local personal injury lawyers, the BC Cycling Coalition, HUB: Your Cycling Connection, and the Trial Lawyers Association of BC.

Recommendations include:

  • Increasing fines for opening a door into the path of a cyclist to as much as $1000.
  • Allowing cyclists to travel on paved shoulders
  • Requiring drivers in motor vehicles to keep a distance of one metre when passing cyclists.
  • Increasing fines for cyclists that don’t have lights on the front and back of their back.


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Drunk Driver Kills Two Cyclists on Sea-to-Sky Highway

vancouver cyclist accidentThe Whistler cycling community is devastated after an alleged drunk driver crashed into two cyclists along the Sea-to-Sky on Sunday, killing two members of the Whistler Cycling Club, along with the vehicle’s sole passenger.

The accident took place during a weekend ride on the Sea-to-Sky Highway about 60 kilometres northeast of Whistler, when a driver collided with the cycling group as they were heading down a steep road. The driver is believed to have been drunk.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the two cyclists were prominent members of the Whistler Cycling Club with a lot of experience on the road. Frank Savage, president of the club, says the community is devastated.

Community residents told reporters that the driver has a history of READ FULL ARTICLE +

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The ‘Crosby Effect’ Raises Brain Injury Awareness

sports concussionsConcussions should never be ignored. Even minor head and brain trauma can create serious, lifelong com­pli­ca­tions. This is sadly il­lus­trated by hockey su­per­star Sid­ney Crosby and his battle with mul­ti­ple, ca­reer-killing con­cus­sions.

Crosby’s first reported concussion occurred during the Winter Classic in 2011. Four days later, Crosby received his second concussion when his head was driven into the boards during a game. He suffered severe concussion symptoms and was sidelined multiple times.

“Concussions are still kind of a mysterious thing. We do know a lot more now, but there are still things that we can learn and hopefully ways and methods we can learn to either heal or to find out more about the actual extent of the injuries,” Crosby said in The Globe and Mail.

The silver lining of Crosby’s tragic injuries is growing public awareness about the seriousness of head injuries and concussions. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Do You Video Chat While Driving?

texting and drivingAccording to an AT&T survey, 70% of people use their smartphone while operating a motor vehicle.

But the New York times says Some People Do More Than Text While Driving:

  • 40% of drivers are taking selfies and shooting videos.
  • 40% of drivers visiting social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter. Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
  • 30% of drivers surf the Internet.
  • 10% of drivers video chat on Skype and FaceTime.

Additional unsettling facts include:

  • 62% of drivers keep their smartphones within easy reach.
  • 30% of drivers post to Twitter while driving .
  • 22% of drivers say they are addicted to using smartphones while driving.
  • 27% of drivers think they can safely shoot videos while driving.


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28 % of NFL Players Suffer Brain Trauma

nfl sports concussionFootball players who lose consciousness after concussions are more likely to suffer from memory loss later in life according to a recent study conducted by retired NFL players.

“Our results do suggest that players with a history of concussion with a loss of consciousness may be at a greater risk for cognitive problems later in life,” says Munro Cullum, chief of neuropsychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. According to a recent CBC article, “We are at the early stages of understanding who is actually at risk at the individual level.”

The study compared brain scans of 27 people who didn’t play college or pro football to 28 former NFL athletes. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Slater Vecchio Voted a Top 10 Personal Injury Law Firm

top personal injury firm canadaSlater Vecchio is voted one of the top 10 personal injury boutique law firms in Canada according to Canadian Lawyer Magazine.

Slater Vecchio Partners, Anthony Vecchio, Michael Slater, James Buckley, and James Richards are proud to have achieved some of the largest trial awards and verdicts in the province.

As Canadian Lawyer Magazine writes, “Slater Vecchio continues to grow and take on new challenges for their clients.” The firm now has a team of 100, with lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, and case managers all committed to helping clients who have suffered injuries in accidents by providing first class client service. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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