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Behind The Wheel

Winter tire dilemma

Oct 3, 2015 / 5:00 am

I began driving my own car in the mid-fifties, and always used winter tires on the rear only during winter months. With so many years of driving under my belt, I feel confident in my own ability to manage winter driving with the traction arrangement for rear drive. But what of others? The answer is...

Scooters & sidewalks

Sep 26, 2015 / 5:00 am

When it comes to motorized scooters/wheelchairs, most people know that they belong on the sidewalk with other pedestrians, not on the roads with other vehicles. Less well known is that they don't need licence plates or insurance if operated by someone with a disability. Who would have...

Passed and forgotten

Sep 19, 2015 / 5:00 am

The topic of choice in the DriveSmartBC e-mail box this past week has been about drivers who pass you in the left lane of a multiple lane highway and then immediately change lanes back in front of you. This action leaves less (sometimes much less) than optimum following distance between you and the...

Disobeying physics

Sep 12, 2015 / 5:00 am

You may be able to disregard the rules in the Motor Vehicle Act and survive, but flouting the laws of physics when you drive will eventually result in a collision. I spent a decade dealing with concepts like perception - reaction time, coefficients of friction and maximum acceleration when I did a...

Two way left turn lane

Sep 5, 2015 / 5:00 am

A gentleman from Courtenay explained about the regular difficulty that he encountered when he used the two way left turn lanes in that city. Most recently, he was travelling northbound on Cliffe Avenue attempting a left turn into Tim Horton's. A woman turned southbound out of the Husky just...

Trailer pre-trip inspections

Aug 29, 2015 / 5:00 am

One of the more eye-opening exercises that I used to conduct at this time of the year was to park my police vehicle at the brake check and wave in vehicles pulling boat trailers for a mechanical inspection. I had learned that boat trailers were often the most poorly maintained of all recreational...

Shame bad drivers publicly?

Aug 22, 2015 / 5:00 am

Deliberately bad drivers seem to be appearing more and more often on our highways. If e-mail to the DriveSmartBC website is any indication, other drivers are no longer shrugging it off and report offenders in the hope that they will be held accountable. Some, including myself, have taken to posting...

How many tie downs?

Aug 15, 2015 / 5:00 am

The load consisted of rough lumber, about 2x6 or 2x8 size 12 to 14 feet long and 3 feet high on a flat deck trailer pulled by a large pickup truck. Load security was provided by a single heavy strap wrapped once around the middle of the load. The combination was being pulled at highway speed which...

Rossland slows down

Aug 8, 2015 / 5:00 am

The City of Rossland has done something rare in our motor vehicle centric world where many drivers think that faster is better. Effective on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 the speed on municipal streets has been lowered to 30 km/h. Hmm you say, that's the same speed as a school zone. Well, not in...

Pedestrian with death wish

Aug 1, 2015 / 5:00 am

The collision counter on the DriveSmartBC web site estimates 33 pedestrian deaths and 1374 pedestrian injury collisions in BC to July 29, 2015. I almost added to that number driving in Vancouver last weekend and the incident still has me shaking my head. I can't believe that a pedestrian could...

Advance warning needed

Jul 25, 2015 / 5:00 am

When the road maintenance contractors undertake work on our highways they are hard to miss. The Traffic Control Manual for Work on Roadways tells them all about setting out advance warnings to give drivers plenty of opportunity to realize that they are approaching a hazard. What is often missing is...

Car jail for smokers

Jul 18, 2015 / 5:00 am

We're facing one of the more serious forest fire seasons that British Columbia has seen in recent memory. Many of these fires are caused by human activity with one of the common activities being the careless disposal of cigarette butts. The provincial government has proposed that when the...

Reporting a hit and run

Jul 11, 2015 / 5:00 am

In response to hearing the siren of an approaching fire engine, Cindy Li slowed in preparation to yield to it. While her vehicle was still moving, it was struck from behind by another car. She stopped, exited her car, walked back to the other car and spoke to the young male driver,...

Distracted driving

Jul 4, 2015 / 5:00 am

British Columbians are very concerned about the threat posed by distracted driving according to those leaving feedback on the government website created to solicit public input on the subject. Our province has the second lowest penalties for those caught handling a cellular phone when they should...

Traffic stop questioning

Jun 27, 2015 / 5:00 am

What do you have to tell police when you are the subject of a traffic stop? I've often been asked about whether you have to answer the casual conversation at a road check that might include questions like, "Where are you coming from?" "Where are you going to?" ...

Reflectors are important

Jun 6, 2015 / 5:00 am

An important piece of safety equipment that is often overlooked on all variety of vehicles is the humble reflector. Why do I need reflectors? I've got lights! I heard this many times at the roadside after pointing out a lack of reflectors to a driver. True, but what happens if you...

Bike lanes confusing?

May 30, 2015 / 5:00 am

I hate to admit it, but bicycle lanes confuse me. The Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) defines them as a designated use lane that is part of the highway, but not part of the roadway. Both the province and municipalities are able to create designated use lanes and restrict who may use them through...

Vehicles doing the thinking?

May 23, 2015 / 5:00 am

I remember what I was a teenager (yes, that was a few years ago) working in my father's service station. The latest safety gadget in new vehicles was a buzzer that warned the driver when seatbelts were not fastened. That's a good idea, right? Apparently not, as customers were coming in to...

E-ticketing and ticket dispute

May 16, 2015 / 5:00 am

There was a brief flurry in the media a couple of weeks ago about the implementation of electronic traffic tickets and dispute adjudication replacing traffic court. I had not heard anything about this from the provincial government after the publication of the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act to...

ORV registration required

May 9, 2015 / 5:00 am

If you intend to operate your off road vehicle (ORV) anywhere on public lands after June 1, 2015 you have just three weeks left to register it through ICBC. When the vehicle is registered an off road vehicle license plate will be issued and must be displayed. The changes replaced outdated...

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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