Jane Macdougall, a mother, journalist and Vancouverite, is the founder of Pedviz, a fashionable line of reflective items to help make people more visible on the streets.

According to The Vancouver Sun, Jane was motivated to help others walk safely when her sister-in-law, Rosalinda, was hit by a car while crossing at a well-lit crosswalk. The driver took off and left her seriously injured.

Using two wheels as transportation is an easy choice in the summer. Now that we’ve turned back the clock and nights are getting longer, you’re likely hesitating to hop on a bicycle.

Commuting by bike this season doesn’t have to be dangerous or unpleasant.  The Vancouver Courier says keep peddling! Here are their four reasons to ride through the rain and windstorms:

“Cycling saves you money.”
A solid bike might set you a couple of hundred dollars at first, but it beats fumbling with coins and cards to regularly pay for parking, gas and transit fare.

“Cycling keeps you healthy.”

Even at a recreational pace cycling can burn 500 to 600 calories an hour. Cycling also has no impact and is easy on the joints for those who are looking for a way to get active without the pain.

Last month I wrote about how 2014 has been the safest year on record for pedestrians in Vancouver. With darker, rainier days ahead, this could soon change.

According to ICBC, pedestrian-related collisions increase by 76 percent between November and January.

In Vancouver, there were 30,066 reported collisions involving pedestrians between 2005 and 2010, an average of 511 cases annually. Half of those occurred between November and February. Collisions were highest in November followed by January. In BC 55 pedestrians are killed each year with 33 deaths this year so far.

“It’s an issue all over our province,” said Jill Blacklock, road safety manager at ICBC in The Province. “This is a conversation we want to have.”

It’s that time of year again where you’ll soon see everything from zombies to princesses. Keep everyone safe this Halloween with these ten tips:

  1. Trick-or-Treating: Join your kids until they are old enough to go out with friends. Trick-or-treat in familiar, well-lit neighbourhoods.
  2. Choking Hazards: Crafting and DIY costumes are a popular activity for Halloween. Don’t let young children play with buttons or safety pins. Avoid giving kids under four marshmallows popcorns, whole grapes, hard candy, and gummy candy or gum balls.
  3. Shine Bright: Choose bright coloured costumes that are clearly visible to motorists. Add reflective tape, and carry a flashlight.

A new map to help cyclists plan a safe route is now live.

BikeMaps.org 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.

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.

Many 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.

A new study found 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.

Thanksgiving 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.

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.