Parking, stopping or standing, what's the difference and why is it important to you as a driver? Recognizing these road signs and knowing what is allowed and what isn't with regard to these three situations can mean the difference between your convenience and being ticketed and towed for ignoring or mistaking them.
"Are you allowed to drive with both headlights and driving lights on at the same time?" asks a reader. The question was prompted by this person's complaint of being blinded by the lights of many of today's vehicles. These vehicles display two headlights and two of what many people assume to be driving lights.
Do you ever wonder why some aspect of the highway that you are driving on has been designed that way? It starts with the Transportation Association of Canada's Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads, is supplemented by the Geometric Design Guidelines for B.C. Roads, may require compromise due to local conditions and ends up being what you see through your windshield.
Lately I have noticed a number of drivers who have entered the intersection on the green traffic light intending to make a left turn and then backed up instead of turning once the light has changed to red. This sometimes happens with through traffic in an intersection as well. In either case, backing out of the intersection is unsafe and may be illegal.
In the past, if you were curious to find out about the traffic tickets issued by B.C. law enforcement officers you could either read a PDF document published by ICBC or make a request for specific information from their stored data. The trouble was, sometimes those information requests took a significant period of time to fill and you had to know how to manipulate the information once you had received it.
No one likes to spend significant effort to clean the snow off of their driveway only to have the plow come by and fill in the highway end of it all over again. Most of us grumble and get to work, but an Errington man decided to stand in the way and prevent the grader from doing this to his driveway. In what almost became more ways than one, he didn't have a leg to stand on.
Our provincial driving guide, Learn to Drive Smart, says the following about using your high beam headlights: "Use the high beam setting only on unlit roads at night when there aren’t any vehicles approaching or in front of you." The companion Tuning Up For Drivers adds "Your high beams help you see further, but remember to dim them when another vehicle approaches (before the other driver’s high beams start to bother you)."
What do you have stored in your vehicle to protect yourself in the event of a breakdown or collision? Most of us will probably reply that they don't have anything prepared for this eventuality. In fact, with the reliability of vehicles today and perhaps not having been involved in a significant collision before, we may be lulled into thinking that we don't really need it.
Have you ever wondered about the instruments that the police use to measure vehicle speeds on our highways? My favourite tool was LIDAR because it gave me the ability to accurately measure the speeds of individual vehicles. Although the laser must be used from a stationary position, either hand held or on a tripod, being able to target a specific vehicle made it superior to RADAR on a busy highway.
No matter how quickly I start to cross once the walk light comes on or how fast I walk, I can make it only halfway across and by then the orange flashing hand has appeared. Drivers proceed even though I am still in the crosswalk trying desperately to make it safely to the other side. Many of them are also convinced they have a right to make the left turn even though I am still in the crosswalk.