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Choosing the speed to drive at on our highways is a highly controversial and individual decision. I would dare to say that the posted speed limit is only a guide for many drivers. For those drivers, the choice ranges from total disregard to the point that you decide what is 10 over from. Even some police managers that I have worked for over the years tended to downplay the involvement of speed in our collision problem. Personally, I remain convinced that those who consciously decide not to follow the rules are a part of the problem and civil disobedience has no place on our highways.
"On Canada Day alone, an average of three people are killed and 155 injured in 601 crashes every year in B.C. Two of these fatalities are people killed in crashes involving impaired driving." This is the opening sentence in today's press release from ICBC heralding the start of Summer CounterAttack in B.C. Slated to run from July 1 to 31 according to the RCMP in BC web site, this is the 36th year of the CounterAttack campaign in our province.
I like to talk about road safety with people I meet because it often ends up producing a good topic for these articles. Yesterday I stopped to speak with the road maintenance contractor operating the mower clearing the shoulder of the roads in my neighbourhood. He was quick to offer three observations, heed the signs, keep your distance and wait behind when there is oncoming traffic.
One exemption from having to wear a seatbelt during normal operation of a motor vehicle is when one is a delivery driver who travels at 40 km/h or less and makes frequent stops. The Motor Vehicle Act does not define what the term "frequent stops" means. In this case, Judicial Justice H. W. Gordon examines the exemption, defines what he accepts frequent stops to be and convicts Mr. Stein. He also suggests that the legislature should revisit the law and include a definition so that drivers may be certain of the restriction.
The photo below shows a "C" shaped cutout in the frame rail of a 1/2 ton low rider pickup truck. The mouth of the "C" faces the rear axle, and was made to allow room for the axle to move up and down without striking the frame. The cutout significantly weakens the frame of the pickup and could result in the frame breaking while the vehicle was being driven.
It's show and shine season and the carefully maintained and restored older vehicles are out for our appreciation. I watched one vehicle from the early 50's pass by me the other day and I noticed that it was equipped with a center brake light and angel eyes in the headlights. It also sported a collector licence plate and that got me to thinking, were either of the two "enhancements" that I noticed allowed on a collector plated vehicle?
Mr. Victor Shymanski was charged with disobeying a traffic control device after he drove his commercial vehicle past a regulatory sign requiring him to stop and check his brakes. He was convicted at trial. Subsequent to that he applied for Charter relief, claiming that his rights under section 7 had been violated because a ticket for a violation of the Traffic Control Device Regulation under section 125 of the Motor Vehicle Act is vague and unenforceable. This case is the resolution of the requested relief.
Freeways in British Columbia are governed by a posted speed limit of 110 km/h and for the most part are only lit by a driver's headlights at night. The opposing lanes are fairly close together and require the use of low beam headlamps when other traffic approaches. When the highway is busy drivers are often forced to travel long distances on low beam. How safe is this at 110 km/h?
Professional drivers of commercial vehicles (as defined in the National Safety Code) are required to do both pre- and post-trip inspections of their vehicles on a daily basis. The list of items to be checked is extensive and is set out in a document created by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. The document also sets out the criteria that defines an out of service condition until that problem is repaired. All drivers should consider these standards as a requirement and inspect their vehicles at regular intervals to make sure that they comply.
Collisions have not been required by law to be reported to the police for quite some time now. In many municipalities today the police don't even attend collisions unless someone has been hurt or killed. Instead, the fire department may show up and the firefighters help participants exchange information and clear the scene.