We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Drivers, cyclist must learn to coexist

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, July 6th 2018

A cyclist rides through traffic at the intersection of Quadra and Finlayson streets. A tragic crash could be avoided by cyclists and drivers being more aware of each other, Steve Wallace writes.



Can cyclists get a speeding ticket? Yes, they are subject to the same rules and regulations as drivers. What if they do not have a driver’s licence? The fine still applies and the
time to qualify for a driving privilege might be pushed back by a period determined by the severity of the offence or offences.

Why are there so many cyclists not wearing helmets?
The fine is very low.
The police are not going to go out of their way to enforce the law with such a slight penalty, but will do so when time permits.
When the government takes such behaviour seriously by upping the fine structure, the police will likely respond.
Fines double in construction zones. Speeding in these zones can be very costly, but more importantly, it can be very dangerous for flaggers.

When a speed is posted, motorists must slow to the posting.
What is the best behaviour when there is no speed posted?
Take direction from the flagger.
They will often move the warning sign in such a fashion as to warn oncoming traffic approaching too fast.

There is a section of the Motor Vehicle Act that allows police to lay charges for going too fast for conditions.
Flaggers can report infractions, and they are taken seriously by police.

I got a few emails in response to my light-hearted “geriatric shuffle” comment in last week’s column.
The shuffle was defined by a reader as the delay in Victoria between when the traffic light turns from solid red to solid green, particularly when it involves a left turn.
The reason for the criticism was to emphasize the limited time allowed for such a turn.

Arne had a very valid point when he recalled a loaded logging truck that slid through the intersection on an icy road on the red light.
His delay to make doubly sure it was safe to proceed saved him from a certain serious crash.
Kirsten had a very logical explanation for the delay.

Many new battery-powered and hybrid vehicles completely shut down at a stoplight and take a little longer to get going again.
On the other hand, some drivers are distracted by their cellphones, and there is a telltale delay.
She wants us to relax and enjoy Island Life.
Bob says the shuffle could be remedied by the European example of putting a yellow light cycle between the red and green.


A loyal reader said the shortest interval of time following the light change from red to green is the time between the change and the horn sounding from behind.
Drivers will often experience oncoming traffic cutting a left curve on the highway.
Why do they do it? It has to do with where they are looking.
Usually staring at oncoming traffic will cause this behaviour.

Looking at the lane one wishes to drive in will correct this bad habit.
The best way to handle this problem is to always lean right on highway curves.
This will allow for more space to escape if there is an opposing-driver lane position error.

Truck drivers often employ this technique.

Left-foot braking is very effective when done correctly.
Drivers get to the brake quicker when they do it.
It is not accepted for new drivers taking the road test.
Experienced drivers will gain an advantage by doing so.

Neither is it acceptable to lag the brake while pressing on the gas at the same time.
This will result in a failure on any driving test but may also cause a loss of control on slippery road surfaces.

It is best left to the very experienced driver.






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