There has been some controversy lately over the calibration and use of approved screening devices at the roadside in British Columbia. Have you ever wondered about the science behind these devices or the procedures that the police must follow when using them?
It is not uncommon for police to stop a defective vehicle and be told "The boss said drive it." The employee is at a disadvantage, he has to drive to keep his job but he is also liable for driving the defective vehicle. While the employee cannot be absolved for the deficiencies, the boss is equally responsible in law.
Driving while impaired by alcohol or other drugs continues to be a significant problem in British Columbia, our Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) notwithstanding. While it has saved lives, the five month total for 2014 shows 6578 ninety day prohibitions and 819 refusals. We still have a long way to go.
A reader reports that she was driving to Nanaimo and somewhere around Cook Creek there was a black vehicle with several flashing lights stationary at the side of the road. The road was not particularly busy and she was in the curbside lane. As she approached, traveling at the posted 110 kph. She gradually reduced her speed, checked her mirrors and moved into the outer lane so that she was traveling at 70 kph before she drew alongside the vehicle. As seh passed this vehicle she could see police officer walking in front of the vehicle, taking photographs into the ditch.
Peter Link was driving to White Rock from Richmond on an evening with 2 to 3 inches of new snow. On highway 99 between the highway 10 and highway 91 exits he was passed by an unidentified SUV. The SUV moved into Link's lane after passing at such a short distance that his windshield was completely covered by snow thrown up by the SUV's wheels making it impossible to see. Mr. Link braked, spun out of control and collided with the cable barrier in the center median. This court case determined that the SUV driver was negligent and responsible for the collision, not Mr. Link.
One does not need to do anything overtly dangerous to be considered a bad driver. Simple thoughtlessness or failing to consider other road users can create a hazardous situation as well. This driver decided to stop in the center of his lane, leave his door open and tie his shoe. Everyone else was welcome to drive around him.
If you visit a service station in a farming area of BC you may see a fuel pump with the legend of marked or coloured fuel. Look a little closer and you will find the price to be lower than normal regular fuel. Don't be tempted to fill your tank with it unless you are specifically authorized to use coloured fuel as the penalties may be significant.
Occasionally you may find yourself waiting in a long line of vehicles for extended periods because a collision has temporarily shut down a highway. Here are some insights as to why the RCMP, working with the area highways contractor, has closed the road.
A collision will fall into one of three categories: Property Damage, Serious Injury, or Fatality.
This video, submitted by Orang Gila features two drivers in Port Moody, B.C. He describes the incident: "1st vehicle 790PLE Black BMW overtaking from right and speeding between vehicles. 2nd Vehicle HP7527 Black Dodge Ram chases him until traffic light. Then almost causes accident. NOT distracted driving, I'm sure!"
The Honourable Mr. Justice Macaulay hears the constitutional argument against the current Immediate Roadside Prohibition laws in BC. He decides "... that the salutary effects of the IRP regime far outweigh the alleged deleterious effects. Any violation of s. 8 is, as a result, saved under s. 1.