We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Readers weigh in on rules of the road

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, September 9th 2016


Last week’s column resulted in several feedback comments from readers.

Here are some of them.

Alison wants all school zones to include a “leaving the zone” sign, and all such signs, including playground signs, to have a 30-kilometre-per-hour tab.

Arline wants school zones to be 24/7, the same as playground zones.
She asked why these zones are now in effect when students are supervised in school buildings.

Frank reminded me that all motorcycles, even the ones below 50 ccs, must have a licensed rider.
The only motorcyclists not requiring any kind of licence are those on an electric bike or scooter with pedals.

John, a former policeman, made several enlightened comments on U-turns.
His in-depth comments, as opposed to my shortened version, are worth noting.
He correctly identified U-turns at traffic-light intersections as illegal.
When done at other types of intersections, without interfering with traffic, it may be legal to do so, if no local municipal bylaw forbids it.

Robert wanted to remind every driver that it is an offense to pass a cyclist until safe to do so, no matter how fast the bike rider is traveling.

It does not matter how many bike riders are abreast.

Two wrongs do not make a right. He said the act states cyclists must ride as close to the side of the road as is practical, not possible.
He suggested the Motor Vehicle Act should be rewritten for modern day use.

Tom commented on getting honks from behind when he slows for school zones.

He believes most drivers do not understand the zones.

After this first week of back-to-school speed-zone enforcement by
police, many more drivers will learn firsthand what a school zone really means.

Tom also does not like the ambiguous “all stop” intersection signs at regular four-way stops.
He is probably right to assume these signs should be reserved for three- or five-way-stop intersections, as they are in other provinces.
He wanted to remind everyone that a crosswalk is the natural extension of a sidewalk at an intersection, whether marked or unmarked.

Terry wanted me to tell people that reverse turns are often permitted unless a sign or municipal
bylaw prevents such an action, and are governed in much the same way as U-turns.

Anton wanted me to let every reader know that scooters are classified as motorcycles and we must separate them from the category known as mobility scooters, restricted to the sidewalk.
He went on to say that no motorcycles have pedals, only electric cycles have them.

Robin, a teacher, wanted everyone to know that the statutory school days begin on the first day
after Labour Day and end on the last Friday of June each year.

Ron took issue with my assertion that mobility scooters were not allowed on the road but must be restricted to the sidewalk. He correctly stated they are permitted on the road when there are no sidewalks.

There are all sorts of jurisdictional contradictions in North America.

No wonder drivers are confused from time to time.

Right turns on a red light are not permitted on the Island of Montreal, but you can do them in the rest of Quebec.

If you are in Saskatoon, you can only do a left turn on a red light from a one-way street to a one-way street.

In Vancouver, you can do the same turn at a red light from a two-way street to a one-way street. A green flashing light means a left turn at an intersection is permitted in Manitoba, but the same flashing green traffic light designates a pedestrian controlled crossing in B.C.

Enough said.





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