We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Road-going questions that need answers

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, June 23rd 2017

British Columbia is the only jurisdiction in the world to insist that licensed drivers, who have already passed an initial driving road test, display an N on the back of their vehicle.

Sometimes, you just have to ask: Why? Readers do it all the time.
Why do drive-through bank machines come equipped with a Braille option? Do the banks actually think blind people drive cars, or are they just too cheap to have a singular function for such a cash machine?
Just think of the bank employees’ reaction if a sight-impaired person, behind the wheel, was seen using one of these machines.
It would look more like a hidden-camera TV episode.

Why are seniors responsible for the doctor’s bill payment when it is the government that demands a medical evaluation from a senior with a perfect driving record? If the government is demanding the medical examination, shouldn’t the government be responsible for the cost? Government certainly does forgive the cost of a driver’s test for seniors.
Why not the former and only the latter? Is this driving-test demand a case of age discrimination?
Would as many seniors have to take a driving test if the government had to foot the bill, or would they be more discerning in their approach?

Why is there a proposal in the offing to no longer demand taxi drivers have a Class 4 professional licence?
Why do driving instructors no longer have to possess this same licence classification?
Was anyone in the driving school or taxi industry consulted?
Were members of the public notified of these changes?
Does it seem right that those entrusted with our safety, in the most accidental-life-threatening activity, not be more qualified than the average Joe?

Why are we the only jurisdiction in the world to insist that duly licensed drivers, who have already passed an initial driving road test, display an N on the back of their vehicle?
(By the way, this magnetic N can be removed by anyone in close proximity to the vehicle, without the driver’s knowledge, subjecting that same driver to a substantial fine.)
Why has no one worldwide copied our system of identifying young women, mostly teens, driving alone at night?
Do you think it just might compromise their safety?
Is it time to end this 20-year farce, motivated by the best of intentions, but sadly unworkable?

Why are school and playground zones so misunderstood?
Why not post the dawn-to-dusk regulation for a playground sign on the very sign itself, and specify that this speed zone is in effect every day of the year?
School zones, on the other hand, are in effect only on statutory school days, about 193 days a year.
How many drivers, other than those in the education field, actually know that professional-development days, formerly known as teacher-convention days, actually count as in session days?
Would it not be prudent to cover these signs when they are not in effect for the summer holidays, at spring break or even over the Christmas season?
Better still, since youth often use school grounds after school hours, shouldn’t we mark all such zones around schools as playground zones, and end the guessing games as to when they apply?
Don’t kids deserve this protective regulatory change?

Is it time to copy Alberta in this endeavor?

My previous column included two items that need clarification.

Community trails do not require helmets for bike riders.
This was recently confirmed by regional-district staff.
Helmets are needed to cross municipal or provincial highways when on the trails.
Enforcement is difficult.

Thanks to local government staff for the clarification.

Jim Heselden was not the inventor of the Segway.
He purchased the company from the actual inventor, Dean Kamen, in 2010.

Thanks to Mark for the information.





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