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Behind The Wheel

Caveat vendor - window tinting

Jan 24, 2015 / 5:00 am

The Victoria Times Colonist is reporting on a crackdown with regard to tinted windows on vehicles by the local Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU). The article quotes a business owner who tells his customers that some window tinting is illegal and that the buyer should beware. What the article fails...

Why don't we teach driving in school?

Jan 17, 2015 / 5:00 am

"Will driver education ever be made mandatory?" asks a DriveSmartBC reader. He expressed the opinion that most of what drivers need to know could be taught in the high school classroom. While I would like to see mandatory training I don't think that this could be done well in high...

Officer should have exercised discretion

Jan 10, 2015 / 5:00 am

The subject of an officer using his or her discretion in the issuance of a traffic ticket is often part of the explanation in the discussion forum on the DriveSmartBC website. People asking for assistance in formulating their defence in traffic court often feel that in their case the officer should...

Stop means stop!

Dec 20, 2014 / 5:00 am

It doesn't take much to amuse a retired traffic cop. I was parked waiting for my wife and had about 15 minutes to watch traffic at a 'T' intersection marked with a stop line, crosswalk and stop sign. Traffic on the city side street was steady as it was dusk and near the end of...

Blame the road maintenance

Dec 13, 2014 / 5:00 am

I exchanged Tweets last week with a commercial truck driver who was less than impressed with the winter maintenance of BC's highways. There is no doubt in my mind that when your livelihood depends on being able to keep your truck moving road maintenance is a subject near and dear to your...

Mobility scooters: Use, misuse & abuse

Dec 6, 2014 / 5:00 am

Life must present quite a challenge when you are no longer able to walk very far under your own power. The mobility scooter is a blessing for those who can afford one. It gives much greater range than predecessors that were powered for however long your arms could push. In fact, I checked a man...

Pedestrians: vulnerable road users

Nov 29, 2014 / 5:00 am

Yesterday in a four hour period @ScanBC reported a half dozen vehicle / pedestrian collisions around the province on Twitter. Today while out walking during my lunch hour I watched a woman jogging with her back to traffic, in the lane instead of on the sidewalk, while wearing earbuds. A van...

Give me a sign

Nov 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

During one of my Elder College presentations I work through a module on traffic signs and lane markings with the students. Driving examiners tell me that this is one area that older drivers have trouble with if they are called in for a re-examination. Based on discussions in the forum on the...

Impaired operation of a motor vehicle

Nov 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

With all the advertising in the media about impaired driving everyone should know not to drive their car or truck while under the influence. But what about other conveyances? There are quite a few ways to run afoul of the impaired legislation. Section 253 of the Criminal Code starts out with...

Driving with collision damage

Nov 1, 2014 / 5:00 am

You’ve been involved in a fender bender and now your vehicle is damaged. The headlight is pointing at the sky, the signal light is missing and the bumper had to be removed so that the tire has room to steer. The appointment with an insurance adjuster is pending, and you can’t even think...

Crossing highway lines to park

Oct 25, 2014 / 5:00 am

An Osoyoos resident has asked about parking in the downtown area. There is angle parking on both sides of the main street, and the street is marked with a double solid yellow line down the center. He is concerned about vehicles crossing the oncoming lane to park on the left side of the street....

Notice & order #2

Oct 18, 2014 / 5:00 am

Over the course of my service in traffic law enforcement I saw many things that made me shake my head. Examples include a pickup truck that had a rope strung through the vent windows and tied to the windshield wipers so that they could be operated by the passenger; another pickup with black plastic...

"New" winter tire rules for BC

Oct 11, 2014 / 5:00 am

On October 1, 2014 the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced "new" winter tire rules for British Columbia. The changes are part of the Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review conducted by the Ministry about one year ago when BC residents were asked to express their...

The boss won't fix it!

Oct 4, 2014 / 5:00 am

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...

The 70/40 Rule - Slow Down, Move Over

Sep 27, 2014 / 5:00 am

I 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 I was in the curbside lane. I approached, traveling at the posted 110 kph. I gradually reduced my speed,...

Coloured fuel

Sep 20, 2014 / 5:00 am

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...

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...

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 Castanet.net. 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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