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Behind The Wheel

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...

ICBC introduces revised Class 5 Re-Exam

Apr 12, 2014 / 5:00 am

Test someone for long enough and they will make enough mistakes to fail. This observation from a driving instructor that I spoke with last weekend made me think because we were discussing the new Class 5 road test protocol for driver re-examinations. ICBC will apply the new standard to drivers who...

People you won't share the road with

Apr 5, 2014 / 5:00 am

You may have seen the road rage video lately where a woman doing the speed limit refuses to move out of the left-hand lane and a man driving a pickup wants by. He eventually passes and then drops back to wave a single digit and yell at the woman. He finally accelerates heavily and gets back into...

Turn signals not always polite request

Mar 29, 2014 / 5:00 am

Every now and again I end up scratching my head and wondering why I didn't think of it that way. This is one of those times and it has to do with turn signals. Ask most drivers what they mean and the response will probably be that a turn signal is a request to change direction or move from lane...

Automated Licence Plate Recognition

Mar 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) is a tool that is being used more frequently for traffic law enforcement in B.C. Cameras mounted on police vehicles scan vehicle licence plates as they pass and compare them to a computer database. A "hit" in the database is announced to the...

Can't I just...

Mar 15, 2014 / 5:00 am

Expired drivers licenses, no lights, no trailer brakes, a little to much to drink and you are being told to park your vehicle at the roadside and this is the end of your journey. Can't I just drive home? I’m only few blocks away.... When you ask this question you are asking the...

Traffic bylaws - not just parking rules

Mar 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

The Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations together make up the traffic enforcement "bible" for most police officers. They set the standards for traffic rules throughout the province of British Columbia. What you may not have considered but could still run afoul of are local traffic bylaws...

Your Worship, the officer was a jerk!

Mar 1, 2014 / 5:00 am

You've just received a traffic ticket and that fact hasn't shed any sunshine on your day. It's bad enough that this has happened, but from your point of view the officer was less than gracious when they issued it to you. I'll dispute the ticket and tell the court exactly what I...

Need an eyewitness? Buy a dash cam

Feb 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

Sophisticated electronics are becoming more affordable every day. For less than $200 you can purchase a dash mounted video camera that will do a very good job of recording what is going on around you while you drive. Why would you want to do this? The video is a reliable witness that you can use to...

Is it a crosswalk or a speed hump?

Feb 15, 2014 / 5:00 am

A reader observes, "I was crossing West Mall at UBC over a speed hump towards the bus stop. A car was driving on West Mall and did not stop. When I showed the driver the white arrows on the pavement, he said that these were speed hump marks, not a crosswalk. I recognize that I might have been...

Turn on your lights!

Feb 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

It's not often that I write about vehicles having too few lights illuminated. Too many, the wrong colour, using them in improper circumstances, yes, but everyone knows that they need to turn their lights on when it is dark or visibility is poor, right? Not so according to many e-mails sent to...

Collision with an animal - what to do?

Feb 1, 2014 / 5:00 am

What is the responsibility of a driver who hits an animal, let’s say a dog or a cat? If it is daylight, I could knock on a door to ask whom the animal belongs to, but what if it is late evening or after midnight? I can’t see myself picking up a bloodied animal and putting it in my car...

Left turns into the correct lane

Jan 25, 2014 / 5:00 am

A Courtenay resident is upset with drivers that turn left from the Island Highway onto Ryan Road and fail to enter the first available lane. He identifies this as a problem for drivers traveling in the opposite direction on the highway wanting to turn right onto Ryan Road. Who would be liable he...

BC highways: Safety & Speed Review

Jan 18, 2014 / 5:00 am

There is one public open house left in the provincial government's Safety & Speed Review of BC Highways tomorrow evening in Chilliwack. I attended the Nanaimo event this evening and found that the number of government representatives was about equal to the number of people present to...

Backup and docking lights

Jan 11, 2014 / 5:00 am

As is often the case, today's article comes from what I see around me as I drive. I was passed by a cube van with one white floodlight on the right rear illuminated. The driver of a truck tractor with no trailer pulled in front of him using the right lane and flashed his backup and docking...

Behaviour around heavy trucks

Jan 4, 2014 / 5:00 am

Ask any trucker about the most dangerous stunt pulled by the drivers of cars and pickup trucks and they will immediately complain about drivers who pass, cut in front of the truck and then slow down. Many drivers of light vehicles seem to have no appreciation at all for sharing the road with heavy...

Cutting the corner

Dec 21, 2013 / 5:00 am

I live beside a road where I can watch an "S" curve out of my window and visibility is limited due to vegetation on both sides. I don't have to watch for long before a see a driver who "straightens out the S" by driving more or less in a straight line through the corners. I...

Designated drivers must obey restrictions

Dec 14, 2013 / 5:00 am

Drivers who are part of B.C.'s Graduated Licencing Program (GLP) are limited to the number of passengers that they are allowed to carry by a restriction on their driver's licence. This restriction is designed to minimize the driver distraction that might be caused by a carload of...

Lasar speed measurement

Dec 7, 2013 / 5:00 am

Lidar has always been my favourite speed measuring device. I could target individual vehicles with accuracy and rapidly measure their speed, even on a busy highway. Radar could not do the job nearly as well as it could not be easily relied on for a specific vehicle's speed in a busy...

How to park safely on a hill

Nov 30, 2013 / 5:00 am

When I was a new driver I almost learned the hard way how important it was to turn the wheels properly to park safely on a hill. I had parked my father's truck on a hill, didn't put it in park, didn't set the parking brake and kept the front wheels straight before getting out and...

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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