We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Christmas wishes from the capital region

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, December 22nd 2017

A reader suggests the City of Victoria might be overestimating the number of cyclists using the Pandora Avenue bike lanes.


Here are some of the recent Christmas wishes from faithful readers of this column.
Brian has a relevant question about last week’s column on bike lanes.
He maintains there is a discrepancy in the calculation of the number of cyclists using the new separated bike lanes on Pandora Avenue in Victoria.
The city says there are about 1,500 bike trips a day on this street, while a private consulting firm says only 355 trips were recorded in the peak 6.5 hours on Dec. 7, a sunny day.

His Christmas wish might well be an explanation of the numerical discrepancy.
Several readers want drivers to signal their intention to turn well in advance, rather than while in the act of turning.
Their Christmas wish is for reasonable warning of a directional change.

Signals, after all, are meant to predict an action, as opposed to validate one.
Drivers should never slant left or turn their wheels in anticipation of a left turn, while stopped in the middle of the intersection waiting for oncoming traffic to clear.
The most common crash is the rear-end collision.

If a slanted or wheel cocked left vehicle in the intersection is hit from behind, it will smash head-on into the very traffic that is causing the delayed left turner.
A Christmas wish for a straight wheel, straight vehicle setup is warranted.
Ada had a great good-will-toward-seniors Christmas gift suggestion.

She wants the government to pay for the doctor’s appointment and examination fee assessed every senior driver when the magic 80th birthday arrives.
Her reasoning is very sound. Since the licensing authority has deemed the medical appointment a demand, as opposed to a suggestion, those demanding the appointment should pay the fee.
The $100-200 fee range is clearly a financial hardship for many seniors on a fixed income.

She believes the government would be much more selective about who gets a demand for such an appointment if the fee came from general revenue of government instead of the seniors’ bank accounts.

I agree!

A doctor, who shall remain nameless, offered a great suggestion.
She reminded me of one of my omissions regarding seniors’ preparations for the doctor’s appointment referenced above.
Seniors should always have their eyes tested by a professional prior to any mandatory doctor’s appointment.

It is a good idea to bring the information from the eye doctor as well as the driver abstract, proof of vehicle insurance and a professional driving assessment.
The addition of the eye test result, up front, will often save valuable time in the process and help the family doctor with the need for only a single appointment.
Safety vests for cyclists and pedestrians can be a great gift at Christmas.

It gets dark early this time of year. When reflective vests are worn, it is much easier to see the vulnerable, slower-moving hazards.
Every driver wishes for a change in the way lane lines are painted on the road. There is a universal demand for reflective markings.
When is rains at night, it is almost impossible to distinguish the old burned-off lane lines from the newly configured lane markers.

A provincial law obligating every traffic jurisdiction to only use reflective paint would be the best Christmas gift for drivers and cyclists alike.
The best gift of all would be the courtesy we could all show toward our fellow travelers.
Zipper merging is both efficient and the polite thing to do.
Allowing more space when following others is a way to reduce the most common crash, namely the rear-end collision.

Merry Christmas to all.

Let’s include at least one positive driving resolution among those we make for the new year.






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