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Behind The Wheel

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...

Heavy truck 'no zones'

May 2, 2015 / 5:00 am

I first wrote about drivers whose behaviour in the "no zone" around heavy trucks left much to be desired back in 2004. Little seems to have changed since then as when I listen to the trucking radio channels the most common complaint involves drivers who jam themselves in front of a truck...

Defensive drivers signal

Apr 25, 2015 / 5:00 am

During the question and answer portion of any group presentation that I give, someone always asks about the use of turn signals. They are either curious to know what they must do or are being sarcastic about the drivers that they see around them that never signal. It's usually the latter but...

Cyclists not second class

Apr 18, 2015 / 5:00 am

I read a story in the Victoria Times Colonist this morning regarding crashes involving motor vehicles and cyclists using the Galloping Goose trail. The article was prompted by a cyclist who had ridden across Ardersier Road and was struck by a driver who had stopped for the stop sign and then failed...

Look waaay ahead!

Apr 11, 2015 / 5:00 am

Imagine making a lane change and crashing into a fully marked police vehicle stopped at the side of the highway with all of its emergency lights operating. I can only guess that the driver was not properly scanning his environment and looking far enough ahead to anticipate issues before they...

Police don't write tickets for..

Apr 4, 2015 / 5:00 am

I often hear the opinion expressed that the police never write tickets for (insert your favourite violation here). While I know what I wrote tickets for when I worked, I also knew that each officer had his or her own opinion on what was important to write tickets for and what they would choose not...
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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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