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CASE LAW - Link v ICBC Appeal

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is a case from the BC Court of Appeal that upholds a judgement from the Supreme Court. The incident in question occurred when Peter Link was driving his Jaguar in a snowstorm on Highway 99 between the Highway 10 and Highway 91 exits in Richmond. He was driving at a speed between 40 and 60 km/h when he was passed by an SUV that threw a large amount of snow onto his windshield as it passed by. Mr. Link was unable to see as his wipers could not clear the windshield sufficiently quickly. When he braked he lost control of his vehicle and collided with the median barrier.

Where to Stop for a Stop Sign

Stop SignWould you believe me if I told you that the positioning of a stop sign at an intersection has nothing to do with where you must stop? Yes, the sign tells you that you must stop, but the markings on the roadway, or lack of them, tell you where the stop has to take place. There are four possibilities for a driver to consider.

VIDEO - Why You Need to Clean ALL the Snow Off Your Vehicle

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video iconIt's easy to be lazy and just clean the windows of your vehicle in snowy weather. Leaving a little light snow to blow off isn't a big deal. However, when the snow is left there and turns into ice, the result of having a chunk of it blow off at speed can be serious. In this video a large chunk shatters the windshield of the vehicle following behind. Imagine what it might have done to an unlucky pedestrian.

Why Are You on the Wrong Side of the Road?

Don't Make Me ThinkIf you watch one of Canada Post's community mailboxes for a day you will probably see someone drive up and cross over to the wrong side of road to get out and retrieve their mail. If the driver's arm is long enough they don't even have to get out to open the mailbox! Who cares about this sort of behaviour? After all, the mailboxes are often on quiet residential streets and doing this doesn't hurt anyone.

RESOURCE - Black Ice: What it is and How to Handle it

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TranBC logoThis timely safety tip from TranBC explains what black ice is, how to recognize it and how to recover if you find yourself in trouble. I'm not sure why they single out highways in northern BC for mention as I've also seen black ice conditions frequently on Vancouver Island. Studded winter tires may be an effective tool in helping to maximize traction under black ice conditions and assistive technologies built into your vehicle can reduce the chance of collision significantly. Remember that inappropriate speed will limit the effectiveness of these technologies and increase your risk along with that of other road users who happen to be nearby.

Can an Experienced Driver Learn New Tricks?

I've been watching a series of comments on an article I wrote titled Yielding on Left Turns. The discussion has involved a driving instructor, a former driving examiner, a professional commercial vehicle driver and myself. There has been considerable debate over what should and should not be done in the circumstances. The rhetoric hasn't gotten to the point that I would consider closing comments, but it's edging closer.

REPORT - Distracted Driving in Canada

TIRF New LogoThis report is an environmental scan created by TIRF in partnership with Drop it and Drive. The main objective of this work was to compile current statistics, information and lessons learned about distracted driving strategies that have been implemented by different sectors and regions. A secondary objective was to gauge activities that are currently underway, or that are planned for the future. The purpose of this work was to establish a solid foundation on which future initiatives could be planned and coordinated across organizations with a vested interest in this issue. The importance of identifying opportunities for collaboration and partnership to bolster these efforts was underscored.

Reporting Air Pollution from Vehicles

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Smoking ExhaustA visitor to the site has asked the following: "I have seen a few trucks driving around residential areas that are really polluting. I wanted to report them somewhere with the hope of them getting a notice or something to hopefully look after this issue. I cannot find a phone number or an email where this can be done. Do you know how can I report this truck?" It's a great question as vehicles like this affect the air that you and I breathe. We should have some method to deal with problem vehicles that we encounter in our day to day life.

CHILD RESTRAINT - Beware of Winter Clothing

Booster SeatBulky winter clothing could put your child at risk by reducing or defeating the protection provided by a child restraint. The video below shows how a crash test dummy in a bulky winter coat slides between the straps of a child restraint in a simulated 50 km/h frontal collision. The coat prevents the straps from tightening properly against the child's body. Remember, if you pinch the straps between your fingers you must not be able to fold any of the strap. If you can, it is still too loose.

Introducing Variable Speed Signs in BC

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Variable Speed SignThe choice of a safe travel speed depending on the driving environment can be as varied as the number of drivers on the highway. I can recall responding to an injury crash on a icy divided highway where both the ambulance and I were using the left lane and all emergency warning equipment. Even with the urgency of the situation, travelling at 95 in the posted 110 km/h zone seemed to be appropriate to both of us. This was clearly not the case for other drivers as we were passed a number of times by vehicles using the right hand lane.

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