We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Yet more goofy behaviour on our roads

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, April 5th 2019

Two readers suggest that although police in this region do a good job of radar enforcement of vehicles, there should be equal enforcement of pedestrian and cyclist indiscretions.


‘If you think that was bad, here is what happened to me.”

This was the response from several readers after reading last week’s column.
Here are a few of their experiences:
Ray had a harrowing encounter with a pedestrian who chose to run across several lanes of traffic when the pedestrian light was flashing red.
Rather than wait the extra minute, this death-wish wacko ran from behind several panel trucks into the path of Ray’s vehicle as he pulled forward on the green light.
Luckily for the pedestrian, Ray had proceeded very slowly and hit the brakes in the nick of time.

Bill and Jack have the same complaint.

Police do a good job of radar and red-light-camera enforcement, because a great majority of traffic deaths happen in high-speed areas and at intersections, but they want to see equal enforcement of pedestrian and cyclist indiscretions.
Mrs. Van said she can’t see the lane lines on the road at the best of times, let alone at night.

She has given up driving at night as a result.
The lack of reflective paint is the biggest complaint I hear, again and again.
It is such a simple fix. Make it the law on all B.C. roads, municipal or otherwise.
Mary saw a series of signs in Australia governing pedestrian movement.

Three signs were placed horizontally on the intersection pole.
The first showed a pedestrian standing, waiting at a solid red hand.
That means stay put.
The second sign is of a green pedestrian crossing the street.
The third sign shows a flashing red hand with the clear instruction to not begin crossing the road.

Mary laments the fact that many pedestrians in Canada do not know the meaning of the flashing red hand, with a declining numerical countdown.

It means stop.

Do not begin to cross.
Lyle maintains that no mobility scooter or similar travel device meant for the sidewalk should be powered at more than walking speed of the average pedestrian.

Anything faster should have a licence plate and insurance.
Right-of-way goes to those being overtaken.
Kevin witnessed the goofiest behaviour of all.

He says a mother deer stops traffic at a crosswalk near the University of Victoria, and stays within the crosswalk lines while doing so.

She motions to her fawn to follow, with a turn of her head. The fawn follows as directed.
Not only does this fawn reach safety, but the behaviour is repeated for another.
Kevin maintains this is a learned behaviour.
He is amazed at how an animal can execute such a move, while some humans can’t cross the street safely.

David does not like homemade signs warning of various dangers, which he sees proliferating.
Some warn of children playing and others of deer crossings.
He would rather see permanent, standardized warnings of these predictable hazards.

On that note, it might be time to replace all school-zone signs with playground signs.
Make a bold statement!

Extend the hours of enforcement.

In Australia, instructions for pedestrians crossing intersections are spelled out in great detail.





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