Dan is a friend that I occasionally get together with to discuss road safety. He's a commercial trucker and driving instructor with a lot of experience behind the wheel. The last time that we had lunch together he made a comment that struck me and I promised to borrow for a column topic. "Don't let that become your default setting" made a lot of sense to me.
I glanced at the driver stopped beside me at a red light today. He was busily chatting with someone via the cell phone that he was holding to his ear with his right hand. A marked police vehicle pulled up to our right and stopped to wait for the red as well. The driver beside me noticed, put his phone on speaker, held his hand below dash level and kept on with his conversation.
Road safety is a fundamental public safety issue that affects us all. Every day, we all take chances when we use the sidewalks, bicycle lanes and roads.
Have you ever pulled up to an intersection and found another driver who has the right of way waving you on? Such acts of courtesy are uncommon on our highways but thankfully are not unheard of. Who would guess that such an act of kindness could actually expose the driver extending the courtesy to risk?
Did you notice a new, higher speed limit on one of B.C.'s rural highways this week? Changes have been made in response to the review and 1,300 km of highways have been posted with higher speed limits because of it.
Can we all agree that driving while distracted is a bad thing? Probably. Would we also consider that this would be more important for an inexperienced driver than a practiced one? Very likely. Did you know that our laws concerning the use of electronic devices while driving actually reflect this thought? Surprise!
Fifteen year old Wiael Hmaied was crossing diagonally across Clarke Road in Port Moody near the Barnett Highway. He was walking against the red light displayed at the nearby intersection, not using a crosswalk, when he dropped his cell phone.
The left lane is so popular lately that when I use the right lane I often find myself behind far fewer vehicles at the next red traffic light. In fact, at one particular intersection on my commute many times I can be first in line. Everyone else seems stuck in the left lane trying to get ahead, fuming, following too closely, making sudden lane changes and often all for the desire to exceed the speed limit and to be faster than everyone else.
ICBC announced today that crash statistics for 2013 are now available on their web site. The fatal collision and contributing factors sections of the report have not been updated yet and it is expected that the fatality data will be added in August or September.