We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

A roundup of reader questions answered

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, May 11th 2018

Unofficial school-zone signs, such as the one at left, have no legal standing but serve as a reminder to motorists. Only yellow pentagons, right, with 30-km/h warnings are official signs.



More questions from readers:

Unofficial school-zone signs, such as the one at left, have no legal standing but serve as a reminder to motorists.
Only yellow pentagons, right, with 30-km/h warnings are official signs.

Graham asked why taxi drivers are exempt from wearing a seatbelt.
He quoted section 32.02 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which provides the exemption for speeds under 70 kilometres per hour.

This regulation came about because of concern for the safety of cabbies.
There had been several incidents of an ill-intended backseat passenger using a choke-hold on the cab driver, who was belted in and rendered immobile by this double tethering.
The powers that be thought it better to allow cabbies to be free of the standard seatbelt legislation for their own mobility, defensive positioning and escape potential.

The legislation seems to have had the desired effect in reducing cabbie assaults.
Will ride-sharing-service drivers get the same allowance?
Who knows?
Norm wondered about the placing of unofficial school and play area warning signs, put up by well-meaning neighbourhood residents.

He deemed them unnecessary, but very dramatic reminders to watch for children.
It would seem logical that the regular lime-green school pentagon-shaped signs and yellow diamond play-area notice should suffice.
There must be a posted black-and-white 30-km/h tab affixed to make the zones a legally restricted speed area.
Norm does appreciate the deer warning signs.

They give all of us an idea where the deer are prone to cross the road.
This mapping of the routes of the ungulates is much appreciated by all travellers, regardless of the mode of transportation.
(Several years ago, a caller on a radio talk show asked if these types of wildlife warning signs could be moved to the areas where the road was straight, thus giving drivers a better chance to react to wildlife.
The suggestion was deemed ridiculous.

The talkshow host did have fun answering the caller’s question.
He reminded the caller that deer could not read and would likely not change their habits.)
Jim wanted to know how many times a candidate on a driving test is permitted to drift into the bike lane before failing the road test.

It is usually three or four times, with no cyclist present, depending on the test difficulty. This lane drift is only tolerated if it is a minor infraction.
It applies to any lane allocation. One infraction with a cyclist present will result in a failure.
Ric wanted to remind everyone of the law, which plainly states a driver must stop at a solid red light before turning right, when safe to do so.

The majority do not come to a complete stop. Pedestrians are in peril when this happens.
Drivers are often so intent on looking left for vehicular traffic, they look late to the right prior to the turn, without coming to a complete stop.

Mike wants pet owners to stop putting them on their lap while driving.
An airbag deployment will almost certainly kill a pet and cause a significant injury to a driver or passenger.
A pet in the back seat becomes a missile at highway speeds.

Pets should be in a cage, or at least confined to a safe place in any vehicle.
Trisha wants to remind everyone to check their driver’s abstract when renewing their driving privilege.
She likens it to reviewing a bank statement. Mistakes happen.

It is best to be checking on the powers-that-be for accuracy and efficiency.
Professional drivers should be checking every year.
Their livelihood might depend on a clean abstract.

Driving instructors are subject to disqualification with the accumulation of six penalty points.
This would usually involve at least two minor infractions or a single major infraction, such as a lack of care and attention or an impaired-driving conviction.




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