Lynzee West from BC Safetylink shows provincial Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad how to use a smartphone app that could be used by the public to monitor their safety when travelling the region’s roads and highways.

App promoted as safety measure

This is one measure for safer travel along northwestern B.C. roads and highways

  • Dec. 20, 2015 6:00 a.m.

By Alicia Bridges

Motorists or hitchhikers travelling the northern highways could register to have their safe passage monitored by “eyes in the sky” if a Gitxsan-run satellite service can get government support to expand its coverage.

BC SafetyLink is a new Gitxsan Development Corporation business which provides live safety monitoring from its Hazelton office.

Companies pay the service to monitor their workers, who can use their smartphones or GPS devices to check in at regular intervals.

If a worker fails to check in, the BC SafetyLink call centre follows a protocol of contacting delegated supervisors who can decide how to proceed.

The GDC wants to open up the service to the public so they can check in while travelling on Highway 16, which is also known as the Highway of Tears because of the high number of women who have disappeared or been murdered along it.

GDC president Rick Connors said the BC SafetyLink system does not need cellphone reception, making it easier for people to call for help in dead zones along the highway.

He said people who were driving alone or hitchhiking could register with the call centre to follow up with a family member or with emergency services if they did not check in before a certain time.

“We could have an app that we could give to anybody with a cellphone,” he said.

“A one button push means you are in trouble and we’ve got you, we track you, we pinpoint you.

“If there is an incident we know who it was and we send the police out, RCMP, whoever it is in the area.

“We’ve got all the assets, the eyes in the sky.”

Safety monitor centre coordinator Lynzee West is one of two employees currently working for the company.

She said the service could also be set up so people who were hitchhiking could log license plates or indicate if they were in danger.

“What they can actually do is enter into a hazard mode which will shorten their check-in times so it can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 15 minutes, someone will be looking for them,” she said.

Connors said the GDC, which conducts business on behalf of Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, needs government support to make the service available for the public.

He said the company was preparing a plan that it hopes the government will endorse.

“We want to put it together so that it is a plan that is going to be a bankable plan, that they can put their name on it, and they can say … the province of B.C. endorses the program,” said Connors.

“What better place to monitor it.”

Connors said the company had also bid for a WorkSafe B.C. contract to provide the service for workers across the province. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s office did not respond to this newspaper’s questions before the time of print.

Alicia Bridges is a reporter with The Interior News in Smithers, B.C.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Regional unemployment rate drops

But fewer people are working overall

Shames Mountain creates new fund for youth in memory of late founder

The ‘Billey Season Youth Pass’ will be given out annually

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

Terrace users on Facebook post warnings about vehicle break-ins

RCMP say it’s important to always lock your doors

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Most Read