We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

A Return Visit to the Reader Mailbag

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, January 20 2017

Passing drivers crowd a Saanich police officer who was pulled over with his emergency equipment active on the Pat Bay Highway. The law requires drivers to give a clear lane to emergency vehicles on a multi-lane highway.


Here are answers to some recently received questions: A senior who read last week’s column asked whether it is wise to see a locum, if one’s regular doctor is unavailable.

My answer is a resounding “no.”

Walk out of the doctor’s office and wait until the family or clinic doctor returns.
They know their patients better than anyone else.
Over the past number of years, I have had a radically disproportionate number of seniors having to do a road test as a result of seeing a locum instead of their normal physician.

Yes — the law is very clear.

A driver must pull to the most logical side of the road, so as to accommodate the emergency vehicle and stop.
What is not clear is how drivers must react to service vehicles engaged at the side of the road.
Drivers must allow a full lane on a multi-lane same direction road, between themselves and any vehicles at the side of the road.

As of late, the addition of several types of service vehicles has confused many drivers.
Now, tow trucks, cable-company vehicles, municipal, telephone and any other vehicle with a flashing light atop the vehicle, warrants a clear-lane buffer zone on a multi-lane one-direction road.

Who knew?

There has been a lame attempt to inform drivers of this relatively new rule.
Rear-end collisions are a concern for several readers.
Drivers can reduce the chance of a rear-end collision by making sure their tail lights are illuminated.
This makes drivers who are following think they are closer than they actually are, and subsequently reduces the instance of tailgating and the threat of a crash.

Tailgaters can be warned of their impolite and dangerous proximity by the use of the fourway flashers.

The use of headlights has the same effect on pedestrians.
They are much less likely to dart out in front of vehicles that seem closer because of the headlights being on.

Are hand signals legal?

Yes, hand signals must be demonstrated in the parking lot prior to the beginning of a driver’s test.
They can be used in an emergency, when signal lights fail.
It is a good idea to use the hand signals when leaving the curb.

It personalizes one’s intention and others are much more prone to give such a driver an accommodation.




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