We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Readers weigh in on bad driving behaviour

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, November 23rd 2018

Drivers need to remember that they can be ticketed for blocking their license plate with a bike rack, Steve Wallace writes. Mounts are available that move your license plate to a visible area.



You have had many opportunities to read about the driving habits that drive me crazy. Several readers have responded in kind. Here is what’s on your mind.

Reg wanted to know if it was still possible to get a ticket for having a bike rack block the visibility of the vehicle’s rear licence plate.
He believes it had something to do with the enforcement of the now-defunct photo-radar program.
You can still get a ticket for doing so today.

Eric is having difficulty switching from his old analog gauges to the new digital display on his recently purchased vehicle.
The new systems offer so much more critical information at the touch of a screen or a voice-activated command.
One of the reasons new-vehicle sales are predicted to decline in about three years is the lack of information available to buyers about this new technology.
New-vehicle sellers would do well to offer extensive demonstrations and education on the topic, to put people at ease with such a purchase.

Steve (not me) had three sources of frustration.
He thinks highway merge lanes going from two lanes to one should be shortened.
This would ease his concern of people merging early creating one long line instead of two short ones.
It would also not brand late mergers as cheaters.

Speaking of cheaters, he wants police to ticket drivers using the off-on ramp at overpasses to get ahead of others in congested traffic.

He requests all slow-moving vehicles, including driving-school cars, to stay in the right lane of traffic.
Joe wants me to remind everyone about their vehicle door-opening liability.
This action is unique when it comes to blame: It is the only time a driver can smash into another vehicle and be deemed blameless.
The driver or passenger opening the vehicle door is totally at fault.
The penalty is two demerit points and an $81 fine for opening a door while unsafe.

This is nothing compared to the damage done to cyclists who are victims of this irresponsible action.

The further financial liability for serious bodily harm in such cases far outweighs the paltry fine and penalty points.

Ken has three pet peeves. Cyclists without helmets cause him concern.
Why is there no enforcement? The police priorities are well stated in their annual reports to city councils.
The nickel-dime fine of $30 is not enough to encourage police to increase the priority.

My friend maintains only a brainless cyclist would not wear a helmet.

(Nothing to protect?)

Ken also wants to remind all cyclists that urban sidewalks and crosswalks are for walking, not riding.
They are not called side-rides and cross-rides for this reason.
Janet thinks speed-zone signs should be covered when there is no work being conducted on the Malahat.
She thinks it is foolish to leave the signs up when no work is being undertaken.

Traffic goes 80 to 90 kilometres per hour when no work is being done.
Obeying these 60-km/h-zone signs is more dangerous than going with the flow during non-work hours.

Work crews take note: Cover the signs.

John reminds all drivers that the vehicle in the intersection, owns the intersection.
When the traffic light turns solid red, the vehicle owning the intersection is permitted to vacate, when safe to do so.
An amber light means stop. The exception to this rule involves being too close to properly execute a safe stop. A green light means proceed only when safe to do so.

Ray wants left-turn advance arrows at every intersection.
The fatal crash potential at such locations is only exceeded by the highway head-on crash.

Megan sees the need for a whole column on roundabout behaviour.

She won’t have to wait too long!




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