Back in 2004 I put tongue in cheek and wrote about the trailer tug test. You hook the trailer up, drive off and look in the rear view mirror, if it’s still following you, carry on! I found myself behind a couple of vehicles pulling trailers yesterday and wondered if their drivers had missed the fact that I was being facetious. Neither trailer had any functioning lights and I can only guess what else might have been overlooked.
One evening while patrolling in an unmarked police car I approached a cross street that was controlled by stop signs. I could see a car approaching from my right going fast enough that I was concerned that the driver did not intend to stop. I shadowed my brake pedal and when the other vehicle was at a 45 degree angle making a right turn I stomped and stopped. So did he.
I'm one of those odd drivers who tries their best to drive at or below the posted speed limit. I include the word below here as sometimes there is a need to slow down to less than the posted speed limit for safety reasons. This often has consequences for me when I have to share the road with other drivers who do not subscribe to my philosophy on road safety. A good example of this is looking in my rear view mirror and finding the Volvo logo on the grille of a heavy transport truck following me closely enough that I could count the bugs stuck to it.
Arrest someone, fight with them, throw them in jail and see them through to penalty in criminal court seems to be business as usual for the police, but write someone a traffic ticket and it's like you've called their mother a bad name. Very few drivers hang their heads, apologize for their mistake and said hand over my ticket, I'll do better next time. Those people do exist and probably receive the benefit of a doubt more often but those that don't wind up asking me for dispute advice in the DriveSmartBC discussion forums.
Drivers who admit to an error are willing to pay the price of the ticket as long as they don't get any penalty points. This is often heard prior to the commencement of traffic court if the issuing officer makes inquiries among the disputants. The trouble is, if you plead not guilty and are found to be, the justice presiding has no control over penalty points. They are assessed by ICBC in response to the conviction.
Road ConstructionWhat construction zone? I didn't see any signs back there! This irate motorist was very definite expressing what she thought about the traffic ticket I was issuing her for speeding in a construction zone. I suggested that once we were done I would be happy to help her make a U-turn so that she could go back and check on the signs.
I knew that there was more than one large orange warning sign with flapping red flags in addition to the temporary speed limit sign leading to where I had stopped her. She accepted my offer and that was the last time I saw her. No doubt she saw them the second time past and decided not to dispute the ticket.
Every once in a while a visitor to DriveSmartBC will pose a question that makes me go “hmm...” This week brought one of those moments with the query “Does a driver supervisor have to be sane?” Without thinking, my response was that of course a supervisor would have to be sane, but after I thought about it, the only thing that a supervisor requires is a minimum age and a valid driver's licence.
I would expect that a driver supervisor would have sufficient driving skill to effectively guide a new driver while they learn to drive. This person would be paying the same attention to the road as they would be when driving themselves. They would actively guide the learner during the drive if necessary and take opportunities to teach when they presented themselves.
I grew up in a small town where there were no sidewalks unless you counted 4 sides from 3 blocks downtown. As children, we didn't pay much attention to the rule that required us to walk on the left facing oncoming traffic but we did make sure that we were on the edge or even off of the pavement when a vehicle drove by. Most neighbourhood streets were our playgrounds and we shared with other road users as the need arose.
Imagine leaving your vehicle in the parking lot at the local strip mall, walking over to a business to conduct your shopping and discovering that it is no longer where you had left it when you return about 15 minutes later. My first thought would be that my vehicle had been stolen. This was not the case for a lady from Kelowna though. She had parked in stalls designated by a sign for one business and done her shopping at another.
When we think of distracted driving, most of us immediately consider cell phone use. While this might be the most common example used in distracted driving campaigns, it is certainly not the only one. Any action that takes the drivers attention off of the driving task is distracting and is to be avoided. This month the provincial distracted driving campaign is telling us that the second leading cause of collision fatalities in B.C. is not being properly focused on operating your vehicle.
ICBC and the RCMP will be extra vigilant in their efforts to deter distracted driving this March. As distracted driving has now taken over as the second leading cause of fatalities in our Province, March has been chosen as distracted driving awareness month.