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Behind The Wheel

Backing up? Safety is your responsibility

Sep 13, 2014 / 5:00 am

The crew from the School Bus Garage in Keremeos tell about a person driving a motor home that backed out of a driveway near a school bus that was dropping off children. The person didn’t appear to be paying attention and almost backed over one of them. The crew thought that a big yellow...

Delivering the wrong message

Sep 6, 2014 / 5:00 am

A serious single vehicle collision occurred in the Shawnigan Lake Area on September 1st. Four 19 year olds were hurt, two critically, after the driver spilled an iced cappuccino on herself and subsequently lost control of her vehicle. She struck the right curb, over-corrected and crossed the...

The proper position for turning

Aug 30, 2014 / 5:00 am

"Tell them that they need to be in the proper lane before they turn" says one reader. Equally important is the need to end up in the proper lane after the turn. Attention to detail here provides for a smooth flow of traffic and less chance of being involved in a collision. The...

Do roundabouts make you dizzy?

Aug 23, 2014 / 5:00 am

Love them or hate them, roundabouts and traffic circles are a fact of life for BC drivers. They slow traffic at intersections without stopping it, providing good throughput and increased safety. They are also environmentally friendly as idle time at intersections can be reduced or eliminated...

Post crash seatbelt investigation

Aug 16, 2014 / 5:00 am

Part of the investigation of any serious motor vehicle collision is an examination of the seatbelts to determine if the person in that seating position was restrained or not. The outcome could determine whether a ticket for failing to wear the restraint was issued or not but I suspect that more...

Mouthwash to hide liquor breath

Aug 2, 2014 / 5:00 am

Before the advent of the roadside screening device the use of mouthwash to hide the odour of liquor on a driver's breath was not unheard of. Today using a mouthwash containing alcohol as you approach a road check can be a very dangerous thing to do. The alcohol present in your mouth from the...

Don't let this become your default setting

Jul 26, 2014 / 5:00 am

Dan is a friend that I occasionally get together with to discuss road safety. He's a commercial trucker and driving instructor with a lot of experience behind the wheel. The last time that we had lunch together he made a comment that struck me and I promised to borrow for a column topic....

I can rationalize that behaviour

Jul 19, 2014 / 5:00 am

I glanced at the driver stopped beside me at a red light today. He was busily chatting with someone via the cell phone that he was holding to his ear with his right hand. A marked police vehicle pulled up to our right and stopped to wait for the red as well. The driver beside me noticed, put his...

The courtesy wave

Jul 12, 2014 / 5:00 am

Have you ever pulled up to an intersection and found another driver who has the right of way waving you on? Such acts of courtesy are uncommon on our highways but thankfully are not unheard of. Who would guess that such an act of kindness could actually expose the driver extending the courtesy to...

Electronic device use

Jul 5, 2014 / 5:00 am

Can we all agree that driving while distracted is a bad thing? Probably. Would we also consider that this would be more important for an inexperienced driver than a practiced one? Very likely. Did you know that our laws concerning the use of electronic devices while driving actually reflect this...

The keep right attitude

Jun 28, 2014 / 5:00 am

The left lane is so popular lately that when I use the right lane I often find myself behind far fewer vehicles at the next red traffic light. In fact, at one particular intersection on my commute many times I can be first in line. Everyone else seems stuck in the left lane trying to get ahead,...

Leaving your vehicle unsecured

Jun 21, 2014 / 5:00 am

Recent social media posts are rehashing a story from last summer in Nanaimo where a woman received a traffic ticket for leaving her parked vehicle unattended with the doors unlocked and the windows rolled down. While the law does require that you must lock your vehicle or make it secure in some...

How wide? How long? How high?

Jun 14, 2014 / 5:00 am

How wide? How long? How high? These questions, when asked in relation to vehicles and their loads, probably bring large commercial vehicles to mind for most drivers. The Commercial Transport Regulations do set out the maximum dimensions for commercial vehicles and their loads. The Motor Vehicle Act...

Smart cyclists ride on the right

May 31, 2014 / 5:00 am

As humans, we are predominantly right handed. In North America we drive on the right side, tend to walk on the right side and I suspect that this right side bias carries over into many other areas that we are not even aware of. I learned as a young police officer that if I was attempting to catch a...

Be smart about vehicle modifications

May 24, 2014 / 5:00 am

There are many different types of vehicles manufactured today in many different models and colours with a host of accessories to make your ride just right for you. For some of us, this just isn't enough and we want to modify our vehicles to suit our personalities and desires. Some of these...

National Road Safety Week

May 17, 2014 / 5:00 am

Welcome to Canada's National Road Safety Week 2014. In case you missed it, this campaign runs from May 13 to May 19 and includes the Victoria Day long weekend. Here in B.C. we will likely see 1,700 crashes, 490 people injured and 2 people killed. I'm sure that you will agree, this is not...

Consider the simple traffic sign

May 10, 2014 / 5:00 am

Consider the simple traffic sign or signal. It stands by the side of the highway doing its job regardless of the season. We rely on it to tell us when to stop, how fast to go, which way to turn or whether we can travel in a certain direction as well as many other controlling functions. This is a...

Not so close, I don't know you!

May 3, 2014 / 5:00 am

Perhaps you can comment about the bad habit of so many drivers following too close to the car in front of them. In order to combat this I have decided that, if I am unable to actually see the licence plate on the car following me in my rear view mirror, I activate my four way flashers. If the...

Of course he has a driver's licence

Apr 26, 2014 / 5:00 am

I arrived part way though a story unfolding in the Driver Service Center today. As I sat down, I saw a middle aged woman indicate a young man to the clerk and comment something to the effect of "at least he has a valid licence." It quickly became apparent that she was trying to initiate...

Motor Assisted Cycle or Motorcycle?

Apr 19, 2014 / 5:00 am

Whether your mechanical skills are limited to taking the pedals off of your motor assisted cycle or extensive enough to attach a gasoline engine to a bicycle, both could land you in trouble with the rules. Making either of these modifications will turn your transport into a motor vehicle that...

About the author...

Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.

E-mail him your questions or concerns: [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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