We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Advice for frustrating driving behaviour

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, February 9th 2018

Even with stoplight red, it’s legal for a driver to turn left onto a one-way street if there is no traffic. Too many drivers are not aware of this fact, Steve Wallace writes.



You are stopped in the left lane of a four-lane, two-way street. The traffic light is solid red.
There is no traffic of any kind moving right to left on the one-way cross street in front of you.
You check for pedestrians and cyclists and any other form of transport before making the left turn on the solid red into the closest lane.
To your surprise, you hear the car horn of the driver behind blaring in an audible sign of disapproval.

This happened to me recently.
It has been a regular occurrence when teaching driving students this legal manoeuvre.
Many drivers are not aware of this rule, which is meant to keep the traffic moving, particularly at congested downtown intersections.
Student drivers are often amazed at the ignorance of so-called experienced motorists at such intersections.

It is an item that is included on many road tests in B.C.

When drivers do not stop close to the warning line or crosswalk lines at a red light, they will not trip the sensor that changes the traffic light to green.
These sensors are at most urban intersections in our province.
Many of these sensors are at demand lights, where the traffic light will not change to green unless the pedestrian button is pushed, or the magnetic looping device installed below the pavement senses a vehicle’s metal components.

It is an eternal frustration for drivers who know about this not-so-new technology to be held in what seems to be suspended animation by the uninformed.

Senior drivers are frustrated by the costly procedure used by our provincial government to identify those elderly drivers who might be unfit to drive.
Granted, the driving-test fee is forgiven, but the mandatory doctor’s appointment can be as costly as $180.
All seniors in our province should get a letter on or before their 80th birthday, informing them of the necessity to make an appointment to see a medical doctor.

Seniors believe this is blatant age discrimination. If a government orders such an examination, the government should pay for it.

This whole senior medical issue is a ticking time bomb for the government ministries involved.
Many seniors believe there are more worthy priorities.
They think the provincial government would be better served by retesting those convicted of impaired driving, excessive speed causing injury and death or even road-rage incidents.

Drivers using handicapped cards, whether for themselves or those being transported, should only have them hanging from the rear-view mirror when parked.
It is not legal to drive with the rather large card in place.
It can obstruct vision and create an unnecessary hazard.

Many school-bus drivers are frustrated by the lack of understanding of the rules by drivers and cyclists as they apply to a stopped school bus.
When the red lights are flashing on a parked bus, no passing is permitted in both directions.
This includes cyclists and any other mode of roadway transportation.

When the road is divided by a constructed median, those on the opposite side of the street from the bus are not obligated to stop when the red lights of the school bus are flashing.
Many school-bus drivers will first use the yellow flashing warning lights before activating the red lights.
This is done to warn unaware drivers of a scheduled stop ahead. Bus drivers are well within their rights to record licence numbers of offending drivers.
This information and identification will stand up in any subsequent court proceeding.

WALK means crossing the road is permitted.
DON’T WALK means just that, don’t begin to cross the intersection, regardless of the number of seconds remaining in the countdown.

No signal commands a pedestrian to RUN. Frustration indeed!






© 2023 Joan Wallace Driving School. All Rights Reserved.