We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Rules are different for playgrounds; signs are in effect year-round





Here is a sample of some recent queries.

Are school zones in effect during this pandemic? Good question!

Technically, these zones are only patrolled during the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on statutory school days. School is not in session at present. Police are not interested in enforcing the speed zones at this time. As soon as regular school-age kids return to class, these zones will no doubt be in effect. School zones must have the pentagon shaped sign and a 30 km/h speed maximum tab appropriately posted for the enforcement.

Posted and tabbed playground signs are in effect every day of the year, sunrise to sundown.

John had an interesting question. If the playground is closed, does the zone apply? The safest thing to do is adhere to the speed if any people are present. The police will likely be enforcing in a manner that addresses the eminent safety concern. (It is long past time that all school zone signs should be converted to playground signs).

What is the best corporate or company parking lot plan?

The best example I have seen of a seemingly foolproof parking design was at a pulp mill. There had been several minor crashes at this not-so-unique location, and both management and union wanted to reduce the incidences. The first step was to institute a one-way, in and out grid.

Eliminating the need to use reverse gear was another major change. Judicious speed enforcement helped enormously. Who enforced it? A joint committee. Who designed it? Take a wild guess!

How can motorcyclists practise crash avoidance?

Very few bike crashes are the fault of the rider. Visibility is the biggest problem for riders. It is a natural human tendency to pay attention to what can harm us. Motor vehicle drivers fear big trucks. They are less attentive to smaller vehicles, especially the two-wheel variety. Oscillating headlights on motorcycles wake up the distracted or inattentive driver. Left of the lane positioning for singleton riders helps drivers identify them. Offset motorcycle formations make car drivers pass appropriately.

Smart riders try to design routes that avoid left turns at busy intersections, the exception being left-turn advance traffic lights. Inexperienced riders and inattentive drivers are a bad combination indeed.

Is it a good time to buy a new car?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Dealers are struggling to make sales in this deep economic contraction. They will be very motivated to sharpen their pencils on the sale prices and financing details. There has never been a time when such a variety of propulsion options have been available.

For example, my friend Don bought a hybrid that gets 40 kilometres on battery and then converts to a gas-battery assist. He has had it for a few months and has yet to fill it, since most of his trips are short ventures in town. Some all-electric models now get hundreds of kilometres on a single charge, eliminating range anxiety. The prices are coming down as well. Dealers want conventional vehicles off the lot, since quantum change in the industry is just around the corner.

Steve Wallace is the owner of Joan Wallace Driving School on Vancouver Island. He is a former voice-president of the Driving Schools Association of the Americas, a registered B.C. teacher and a University of Manitoba graduate.





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