Information on specific vehicle equipment.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES - Trip Inspection Standard

Truck TractorProfessional 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.

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Inadequate Trailer Hitch

cameraHere is an example of how not to attach a trailer to a vehicle found on Highway 4 near Port Alberni. The connection for the breakaway brake is the cable dangling at the center of the picture. The end of this cable should be attached to the towing vehicle somewhere other than to the hitch itself, and definitely not to the safety chain. The aim of this device is to apply the trailer brakes in the event of the trailer accidentally disconnecting from the vehicle.

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Smoked Rear Lenses

cameraHere is another example of obstructed lamps. The owner of this vehicle has coated the inside of the rear lenses on this vehicle with a translucent black spray coating that makes the lens appear dark or black. It also limits the light output, making them less or ineffective depending on the lighting conditions and the amount of coating used. The spray cannot be removed so once the driver has been dealt with by police, it will mean replacement of the lenses in addition to a ticket or vehicle inspection order.

Unsafe Headlight Conversions

HID HeadlightsCould you perhaps comment on poorly focused hi intensity illegal conversions done to forward lighting on vehicles asks a reader. He has had many of his friends comment on how newer vehicles with hi tech headlights have made night driving uncomfortable and unsafe for them. I've noticed that some of these conversions are also difficult to look at during the day as well.

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Obstructed Lights and Reflectors

cameraThe following photo is an example of how a well intended vehicle customization can impact safety. The covers over the rear lens assemblies of this pickup have completely obscured the reflectors and significantly reduced the effectiveness of brake and tail lights, particularly in the daytime.

Lights - Not Used, Not Working or Causing Problems

Daytime Running LightsWithout a doubt, one of the most popular topic suggestions that I receive has to do with vehicle lighting. Either they are not being replaced when burned out, aren't being used properly (or at all) by drivers or are causing problems because of brightness or colour. Most include the complaint that neither drivers nor the police are regularly checking vehicles and doing or enforcing the required maintenance.

When to Replace a Broken Windshield

Windshield CrackRecently I was coming back from the ski hill and got a rock chip in my windshield that has started to crack and spider. I know there is a violation ticket that may be written for a cracked windshield. I plan on getting it changed in the spring after the roads are swept because I don't really want to spend $200 dollars to have a windshield changed on the chance it may get hit with another rock.

RESOURCE - TyreSafe on Used Tires

Tyresafe LogoBuying a set of used tires can be economical, but it can also hold hidden hazards that would make them much less than a bargain. Information from TyreSafe in the UK demonstrates some of the pitfalls that buying a used tire may hold.

VIDEO - On The Road With The McIntyre Family

video iconThis TyreSafe video from the UK is equally valid here in British Columbia. Well, except for the 20p coin tread depth test of course! It urges you to consider the condition of your tires monthly, or at least prior to every long trip. In addition to what to check, it adds information on how tires can affect your ability to operate your vehicle safely.

RESOURCE - Winter Tires: A Review of Research on Effectiveness and Use

TIRF New LogoThe Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) reports that using winter tires during the winter months can increase the likelihood of avoiding a costly collision. The challenge researchers discovered was getting drivers to use winter tires. The report looks at existing Canadian and international research on the efficacy of winter tires and their potential effects. The study, sponsored by the Winter Driving Safety Coalition, also explored the public’s perceptions and use of winter tires.

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