Meeting Minutes - Brian J. Patterson: Safe Winter Driving - Nov. 23rd. 2017
Today’s meeting on November 23, 2017 opened at 9:55 am with President Ed Herold chairing. There were 48 members in attendance along with guest speaker, Brian Patterson. President Herold welcomed all in attendance with a special welcome to new member, Len Bickerton.
President Herold called on David Wallace to comment on the recent Remembrance Day ceremony. David Wallace wished to acknowledge the great representation of the Club by Ron Durst and Martin Alderwick who presented the Club’s wreath at this ceremony.
Announcements Activities - Ray Biffis - Christmas Luncheon on December 14th – there are 44 people paid up with several more promising to attend so there should be around 50 people attending; - contributions of door prizes would still be appreciated; - David Wallace will be filling-in for Ray with the preparations for the luncheon.
Coffee Meetings – are still meeting at 10:00 am on alternate Thursdays at both the Boathouse and the Airpark Café and all Club members, new and old, are welcome.
Len Johnston was called upon to introduce today’s guest speaker.
Brian Patterson is chairman and CEO of the Ontario Safety League. The Ontario Safety League was formed in 1913 by a group of business and community leaders in response to the increasing threats to public safety brought about by the automobile. The mission was to reduce preventable deaths, injuries and destruction on Ontario’s roads through public education and safety awareness. Today, the League is recognized as one of North America’s leading traffic safety organizations. It provides the general public with safety information and safety-based programs, including Elmer the Safety Elephant for children, and a range of innovative safety courses and services for the transportation industry.
Brian Patterson on Safe Winter Driving Mr. Patterson began his presentation by explaining the formation of the Ontario Safety League (OSL) in 1913 by a group of safety-minded leaders in the community concerned about automobile accidents. Over the years the OSL has evolved into providing training for many modes of transportation such as motorcycle, canoe and snowmobile training. So, the OSL is often on the cutting-edge of safety change. We have some of the safest roads in North America.
Some of the really big safety changes have occurred in the last 25 years. There have been significant changes in impaired driving issues and road safety in general. We all here live in one of the most congested driving corridors. Transportation has changed and modified in more rural to urban places than ever before. They’re faster, they’re carrying more capacity which brings with this more challenges.
On his way here today he witnessed two people passing a school bus with its lights flashing. These means some drivers are completely oblivious to what’s happening around them. This puts all school kids on that bus at risk. The Safety League has pushed for new legislation to put a camera on each bus to catch these infractions. In the future if drivers go by a bus with its lights flashing a ticket will be issued and the camera will serve as evidence of the infraction. This will hopefully make these infractions less frequent and save costs in courts of witnesses having to attend court.
Mr. Patterson commented on the incredible level of discourtesy that has crept into how some people drive. It has become a “me, me, me” attitude. People have a self-rationalization that they come first. There are now as many aids as possible in a vehicle to make people comfortable while driving. There are air-bags and crumple zones built into today’s vehicles to reduce injuries. But there is a core of people who just ignore safety of themselves and others around them.
Every year as winter approaches Brian does a routine to instruct people about the use of a proper ice-scraper versus using a credit card for a scraper. He says people need to take the time to properly clean the snow and ice off their vehicle. They also should top-up the windshield washer fluid and make sure their vehicle is ready for winter driving.
Mr. Patterson stated that when a minor vehicle accident occurs on a 400-series highway, drivers should not get out of their car on the side of the highway to check the damage but should call for emergency assistance rather than put themselves and others at risk. This means they should have a fully charged cell phone with them in their vehicle.
He stressed: Four winter tires for winter driving. This has to do with science. The development and design of winter tires in their composite and structure makes them much safer for the winter climate particularly at seven degrees or lower.
Drivers should assess their own ability to drive and assess the road conditions when it’s safe to do so.
Know how your vehicle’s automatic breaking system (ABS) is designed to work. The ABS pump the brakes for you and you shouldn’t pump the brakes when you are attempting to stop quickly. If in a skid or slide, know that you are likely to skid in the direction you are looking so, look where you want to go. Going slower means that you require less stopping distance.
It is dangerous to attempt to pass a congo line of snowplows. These trucks are extremely unforgiving when you make contact with them in the process of passing them.
Drivers need to be aware that the roadway just before a stop sign or intersection is possibly slippery due to cars stopping there and dripping snow or water. Therefore, drivers should be prepared to stop eight feet or more back of the stop sign or line and then just roll up to the line safely.
Another issue becoming prevalent or will become an issue is the use of electric cars and autonomous cars. Electric cars are developing to achieve greater distance on one charge. People will need to understand the limitations of these vehicles and take precautions to be prepared.
To survive winter driving, take it seriously and know the simple things that make winter driving safe.
Brian Patterson talked about the more recent changes that will affect driving in the future such as how the legalization of marijuana will affect driving behavior. In his opinion, the government is moving too far, too fast on this issue. This is compounded by each province separately attempting to regulate safety issues around this new legislation.
Mr. Patterson mentioned how people need to be aware of the prescriptions they are on and they should be proactive about assessing their abilities. The pharmaceutical industry is looking at what happens to cognitive Issues if a person is taking more than four prescriptions at a time. People need to self-justify their ability to drive.
Distracted driving has been a major concern for the last 15 years. This issue has been brought to the forefront in more recent time and penalties are becoming stiffer.
He wants to bring back the old “Elmer the Safety Elephant” campaign.
A question and answer period followed Brian Patterson’s presentation to the Club.
Len Johnston thanked Brian Patterson for his “conversation” with us and his very unique way for getting the message across to us about winter driving tips.