Tips, Talk and Insight from the Slater Vecchio Team

New Map Tracks Cycling Dangers

BikeMaps.Org Screenshot Screenshot

A new map to help cyclists plan a safe route is now live. allows injured cyclists to indicate dangerous curbs or turns as a warning to other cyclists. The map indicates hot spots for bike theft, collision reports, cyclist hazards and citizen near miss reports. Participation is quick, anonymous, and is done by pinning a marker on the online map.

Trisalyn Nelson, an avid cyclist, geographer, and Lansdowne research chair of spatial sciences at the University of Victoria, began the project. In the first few days of the pilot project, more than 150 reports have been filed across Canada, the US and as far as Finland.

Although BikeMaps began as a local initiative, Nelson hopes that the map becomes a global resource and remedy safety fear, “the number one deterrent” to new cyclists. The city of Victoria will be looking to the map to help indicate where to invest in cycling infrastructure. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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The “Citizen Cyclists” of Copenhagen



Denmark is known for its progressive urban planning, architecture and design. In the capital city of Copenhagen the cycling culture is everywhere. The city has over 390 km of designated bike lanes and 41% of its population identifies cycling as their primary mode of transportation.

Mikael Colville-Anderson, a Danish-Canadian urban designer and urban mobility expert, wrote in The Guardian  why he believes other cities should follow in the footsteps (or bike paths) of Copenhagen.


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Are Young People Aware of the Risks of Contact Sports?

hockey concussionsMany parents say “no”.

An Eric Hamber Secondary School Griffins football player suffered a concussion that left him out of the classroom for a school year. With little knowledge of concussions, his teammates were left deciding whether or not they wanted to continue playing.

“The reality of it is, is it 100 per cent safe? Nobody can make that guarantee,” says Griffins coach Bobby Gibson in an interview with the Vancouver Sun. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Brain Injuries Alter Teens’ Behaviour

A new study fouPossible Concussion as Girls Collide in Soccer Gamend that teens who have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury(TBI) are more likely to have harmful behaviours such as smoking cigarettes and contemplating suicide.

“Many harmful behaviours in adolescence can be precursors to addiction and mental health issues later in life,” said Dr. Robert Mann, a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The study used data from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health survey where researchers investigated 13 harmful health behaviours among 9,300 Grade 7 to 12 students.

Interesting results varied between different sexes with a history of TBI.

Boys were found 6% more likely to experience a concussion but girls were more likely to have increased psychological distress. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Slow Down and Increase Attention this Autumn and Winter

Car CrashThanksgiving weekend is known as one of the worst for road fatalities. This year, at least ten people are dead from car collisions and crashes in BC. According to ICBC, the average number for deaths is just three.

Rainy weather conditions were largely responsible for this year’s increase of fatalities.“With the summer that we had, with very little rainfall, there’s so much film and so much build-up on our streets and highways that the roads are extremely slick out there,” says Canadian Tire Manager Glen Gillis. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Are Fines for Distracted Driving in BC too Low?

Texting and Driving

Image source: Toyota Teen Driver

Immediate communication has become the norm and many feel obligated to respond to texts and e-mails while driving.  Attorney General Suzanne Anton says distracted drivers aren’t taking current penalties serious enough.

“I am concerned that distracted driving is the second-largest contributing factor in motor-vehicle fatalities on BC roads,” said Anton.

Effective October 20, the number of demerit points associated with distracted driving will increase from zero to three. The existing fine of $167 will stay the same. Is this enough to deter drivers from using their devices while driving?

Victoria police Deputy Chief Del Manak says no.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the current $167 fine is not sufficient to set deterrence for many of the people who continue to text and drive or talk on their cellphone and drive,” Manak said. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Congratulations to the 2014 Slater Vecchio Trial Advocacy Award Recipient!

Kalila Wilkinson, Slater Vecchio LLP Trial Advocacy Entrance Award Recipient

Kalila Wilkinson

Slater Vecchio and UBC Law are pleased to announce that Kalila Wilkinson is the 2014 recipient of the Slater Vecchio LLP Trial Advocacy Entrance Award. This award was presented on the recommendation of the UBC Faculty of Law.

Kalila is a BA graduate (with Distinction) from Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo with a major in Global Studies and a minor in Anthropology. Kalila has displayed a focus and interest in helping marginalized groups in the past and has worked as an Artistic Advocate Intern in Chiang, Mai, Thailand where she developed and facilitated topical art workshops for Burmese refugees, displaced hill-tribe groups, trafficked teens and children with cerebral palsy. During her undergraduate studies, Kalila founded and co-chaired the local VIU committee of World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an agency dedicated to fostering equity through education. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Pedestrian Deaths in Vancouver Lowest Ever

Vancouver Pedestrians on RobsonVancouver Police are calling 2014 the safest year on record for pedestrians. So far, only one pedestrian has been killed compared to seven last year.  Almost a decade ago 20 people were killed in vehicle collisions.

With about 12 per cent of people in Vancouver walking to work, the city aims to have zero pedestrian fatalities. READ FULL ARTICLE +

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A “Brain Breathalyzer” for the Sidelines

Brain X-ray ConcussionBritish researchers are developing a “brain breathalyzer” device used to detect concussions on the sidelines, according to the BBC.

Breathalyzers are currently used to detect blood alcohol content. But neurosurgeon Tony Belli and Dr. Michael Grey from the University of Birmingham say you can reengineer a breathalyzer to detect other things. It simply needs to be refined to detect very small amounts of certain “biochemical compounds.” READ FULL ARTICLE +

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Back-to-School Road Safety

School ZoneWith more than half a million students back in school across the province, there’s no better time to think about road safety.

According to ICBC, 30 children aged five to eighteen are killed and 5,100 injured in 14,700 crashes every year in BC.

“Everyone should plan ahead for the return of the school season because the roads will be much busier,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone. “…Remember to leave earlier to avoid rushing, stay focused on the road and use extra caution, especially around school zones.”

Education Minister Peter Fassbender has challenged road users to turn school zones into accident-free zones. “Everyone, including students and drivers, needs to be vigilant when they are near schools,” said Fassbender.


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