We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Christmas wishes from Island drivers

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, December 21st 2018

A cyclist checks his cellphone while riding in Vancouver. A reader suggests we should follow the example of Victoria, Australia, where using a cellphone while riding a bicycle is an automatic fine.



Here are some Christmas wishes from readers of this column.
Constable Tim (retired) wants every driver to know it is acceptable to flash the high-beam headlights at a distance not less that 150 metres.
This can be to warn of a variety of hazards ahead, or in response to blinding high beams of an oncoming vehicle.
Any distance less than that is an offence and can cause temporary blindness for other travelers.

Bob has a Christmas wish that Victoria, B.C., would be much more like Victoria, Australia, where using a cellphone while riding a bicycle is an automatic on-the-spot substantial fine.
Not only are the fines higher, but the immediate payment is quite a deterrent.
Their new rules about shared bus and bike lanes are suspiciously the same as ours.
Surprisingly, all traffic on the highway must slow to 40 kilometres per hour, not our 70 km/h limit here, when encountering a stopped and engaged emergency vehicle.

Many readers commented on the courtesy of Island drivers.
Others suggested the increase in the number of vehicles on the road was contributing to the eroding of the very courtesy for which the Island is well-known.
Hopefully, this festive season will see the friendly wave of a hand rather than an unceremonious one-finger salute.
Many drivers are wishing for the advent of the pilot program for time-and-distance speed cameras where frequent highway fatal and serious-injury crashes occur.
Cameras already exist at many high-volume intersections.
Theoretically, this would give the police more time to attend to some of the less-enforced infractions by pedestrians and cyclists.

The festive lights of Christmas are a reminder for cyclists to light up and be more visible.
Dave has a very catchy phrase to make the point.
If you are biking or running, wear some lights.
It is better to be seen than to be an accident scene.
Jill wants to know if a tinted front window is legal in our province.

“No” is the simple answer. She would like to see this section of the Motor Vehicle Act enforced.
It is very hard to get the comfort of eye-to-eye contact when pedestrians cannot confirm whether a driver has noticed them or not.
Colin would like to know how many drivers are aware of the amount of their personal liability insurance coverage.
He had a bad experience and wishes every driver had about $5-million liability coverage.
It costs very little compared with the enormous peace of mind it delivers.

A visitor from Toronto wishes all the drivers in his home province were as polite as those on Vancouver Island.
He has given up being a south-of-the-border snowbird and prefers to stay in Canada over the winter months, just not in frozen tundra-like Toronto.
Here is a Christmas wish that I hope will last all year long.

We should all be mindful and appreciative of those professionals who must work through the holiday season.
Police, firefighters, ambulance and tow-truck drivers will be there when we need them.
They deserve our appreciation, respect and support.
It is also worth mentioning the people who keep our utilities functioning at peak levels.
Hydro crews will be at the ready. Telephone and telecommunication personnel will also be on guard.

Those who transport us are worthy of a mention, as well.
Bus drivers, cabbies, pilots and crew are in the air, at sea, on the rails and on the road delivering people, products and messages.
Last, but not least, are the medical and paramedical staff bracing for the inevitable emergencies that occur in this holiday travel season.

Let’s all make their jobs a lot easier and have a safe Christmas season.





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