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.

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Monkey Beach’ supernatural film adaptation premiers at VIFF

Based on Kitamaat author Eden Robinson’s debut, mystical novel

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Ecosocialists nominate candidate for Stikine

Edward Quinlan is the new party’s regional director for Skeena and Bulkley Valley regions

Skeena Voices | Former fighter goes toe to toe with Parkinson’s

Valerie Zilinski runs Strong and Steady Fitness classes for people living with Parkinson’s

OPINION: Facebook has taken one step too far

Social network threatens to ban news in Australia, same could happen here

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Most Read