Video and story: Rupert man on a mission to promote road safety with our youth

After surviving a car rollover in his teens, Prince Rupert's Brian Denton has made it his mission to educate youth on road safety.



Nineteen commercial airline crashes killing all 100 persons aboard would barely equal the number of deaths on Canadian roads in 2013.

The analogy is shocking and severe and the very reason why Prince Rupert’s Brian Denton has made it his mission to publish the book Staying Safe on Our Roads to illustrate just how “small a margin for error” there is when it comes to road safety.

When Denton was 16, he rolled his car and was thrown from his vehicle. He escaped with his life but suffered serious injuries. Since that life-altering accident, Denton has remained collision-free ever since.

Knowing the realities of how easy it is to be involved in a collision, Denton doesn’t beat around the bush in his book. If you speed that margin of error shrinks, and he offers concrete examples to drive the message home. The impact of a collision on the body while driving 30 km/h equals a fall of 3.5 metres. The impact while driving 120 km/h equals falling from 56.9 metres.

“Unless we properly understand the hazards that exist, it is difficult to impossible to understand how to reduce our risks of being involved in a traffic collision,” Denton said.

The Prince Rupert resident is a former mechanical engineer and has spent eight years researching and writing his book during his retirement. He said he initially wrote the book for the youth and for his own children and grandchildren but the scope of his message has expanded as he dug deeper and discovered more inherent problems in how roads are designed and how drivers use them.

“Road safety should be a fundamental program in the school curriculum,” he said. “You’re not going to pick up all that you need in a driving school.” Denton has already reached out to the superintendent of School District 52, Sandy Jones, on his vision.

The book investigates problems in Canada and the U.S. and then highlights some of the road safety strategies in New Zealand, Sweden and the Netherlands. For example, in Chapter 9 he examines Sweden’s Vision Zero approach that “no loss of life is acceptable.”

Roads, streets and vehicles are adapted to preemptively deal with mistakes that people make when using the road. This strategy included a goal by policymakers to reduce deaths and injuries by a certain date. Denton said we can learn a lot from these countries and their attitudes toward road safety.

“One of the beauties of this book is that it’s written on the basis on what we as an individual can do to reduce our chances of getting involved in a collision,” he said.

Canada won’t be able to change its road system overnight and its national policy may take years to implement.

Rather than wait for the changes to be made this book offers insight on how driver’s can improve their own habits for their own safety and for others who use the road.

To publish the book, Denton contacted more than 250 publishers and literary agencies and requested support from 13 Canadian safety organizations over a two year period, including the Canadian Safety Council Chair and Board, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the CEO of MADD Canada.

He only received a couple of responses and no support — so he found another avenue to publish his work.

Staying Safe on our Roads is available on Amazon and Denton had copies of the book printed in Victoria, which is for sale at Eddie’s News Stand and Seahorse Trading in Prince Rupert.

 

Just Posted

Another windstorm expected Monday, causing ferry delay

With another windstorm expected to hit Haida Gwaii on Monday afternoon, BC… Continue reading

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

Nurses wanted, Northern Health promotes Prince Rupert in new video

There are 38 nursing job positions available in the area

Charles Hays Secondary students steal the show

Students put on a production of 9 to 5 the musical at the Lester Centre

Heart of Our City: From the boat to the classroom

Rod Hikida has taught generations of Prince Rupert Students

Prince Rupert Rampage host Teddy Bear night

The Prince Rupert Rampage teamed up with the Salvation Army to give back this weekend

Shop Prince Rupert is back

These businesses are all taking part in the Shop Prince Rupert event until December 21 at noon

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

Natural gas rates will go up in B.C. on Jan. 1

Regions could pay up to $68 more

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Macron addresses France amid protests; is it too late?

Paris monuments reopened, cleanup workers cleared debris and shop owners tried to put the city on its feet again Sunday.

CUPE calls off Flair Airlines job action citing job security concerns

The union says it’s going to challenge Flair’s move at the Canada Industrial Relations Board before proceeding with any job action.

Trump looking at several candidates for new chief of staff

Trump’s top pick for the job, Nick Ayers, is out of the running and Trump is now soliciting input on at least four individuals.

Canadian physicist collects Nobel Prize

Canada’s Donna Strickland is one of three winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics.

Most Read