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Shadow the Brake, They Might Not Stop

stop signOne 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. We sat and looked at each other for a moment and when it was clear that he wasn’t going to go, I waved him forward.

EVENT - Child Passenger Seat Technician Training - Campbell River, May 13 to 15, 2016

Booster SeatJoin CPST Instructor Laura Hagen for 2.5 days of hands-on, comprehensive technician training with certification through the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada. Participation in all training components is required for successful completion and certification.

RESEARCH - The Effectiveness of Speed Cameras

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RAC Foundation LogoLove 'em or hate 'em, speed enforcement cameras save lives. This review of the evidence of the British experience with speed camera enforcement shows that camera use results in a substantial improvement in compliance with speed limits, a particular reduction in extreme speeding, a marked reduction in average speed at fixed sites and an appreciable, though more modest, reduction at mobile sites.

The Not-So-Professional Driver

Truck Tractor and TrailerI'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.

CASE LAW - R v Couldwell

BC Courts Coat of ArmsErin Couldwell was operating his bicycle at the exit of a parking lot onto a lane near the Victoria Police Department headquarters just before 7:00 am on September 25, 2014. His bicycle had neither lights nor reflectors. Constable Horonowitsch had just commenced his dayshift and was approaching the parking lot exit in the lane driving a marked police vehicle with it's normal vehicle lighting on. The constable's view to his right was obscured by shrubbery. Mr. Couldwell collided with the rear of the right front quarter panel of the police car.

READING - IIHS Status Report - April 12, 2016

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IIHS LogoThe April 12, 2016 issue of the Status Report is now available for reading on line. This issue examines the crash testing of large 2016 model pickup trucks, how manufacturers are in competition to implement automatic emergency braking systems into their vehicles before they are required by law and how raising the speed limits in the United States has contributed to an increase in the number of deaths in highway crashes.

A Few Thoughts on Traffic Tickets

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Violation Ticket TopArrest 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.

What Does a Construction Speed Zone Cost?

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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.

OPINION - Politics and Road Safety

SoapboxThis has been an interesting week for road safety. The Provincial Health Officer has released a report, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Reducing the Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes on Health and Well-being in BC, that suggests lower speed limits in residential areas and the return of automated speed enforcement as a means of reducing injury and death on our roads. Tom Fletcher is the legislative reporter for the Black Press in Victoria. He quotes Minister Todd Stone's response to the report:

"We believe there are more effective technologies that can be employed, and frankly a better way to utilize precious police resources than to resurrect what was largely a failed photo radar program that was nothing more than a tax grab for British Columbians,"

We Don't Have a Very Good Opinion of Ourselves

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ExclamationA recent poll by Insights West found that 50% of Canadians feel that drivers in their city or town are worse than they were five years ago. The two top groups of bad drivers identified by three of every five of us were youth and seniors. To top it off, most of us have witnessed dangerous and illegal behaviour on our roads in the past month. Wow! Time to have a look at ourselves in the rear view mirror.

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