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Behind The Wheel

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 The changes replaced outdated...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...
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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...

NZEVs in my neighbourhood

Mar 28, 2015 / 5:00 am

I saw a new sign beside the road in my neighbourhood last week: NZEV Zone Begins. This means that I might now encounter Net Zero Emission Vehicles in my local travels. Also known as Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) or Neighbourhood Vehicles, these electric vehicles are designed to operate at speeds of 40...

Automated speed limit

Mar 21, 2015 / 5:00 am

According to B.C.'s new 10 Year Transportation Plan, safety on British Columbia’s highways and side roads is the ministry’s number-one priority. Four pages of the 56 page report are dedicated to the topic. Aside from physical infrastructure improvements and singling out left lane...

Daytime running lights

Mar 14, 2015 / 5:00 am

Daytime running lights (DRLs) have been mandatory equipment on all vehicles in Canada since model year 1990. That means we're passing the quarter century mark of the introduction of this safety feature. The final version of Statistics Canada's Canadian Vehicle Survey was published in 2010...

Detecting drug impaired driving

Feb 21, 2015 / 5:00 am

Detecting and successfully prosecuting drug impaired drivers on B.C.'s highways is not a simple task. Currently the Criminal Code provisions for Drug Recognition Expert examination is the only method used to qualify drug induced impairment where the driver is not obviously incapable of physical...

Young driver deaths

Feb 14, 2015 / 5:00 am

The BC Coroners Service released recommendations today with the hope of mitigating something that we are already aware of, the fact that motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death for youth aged 15 to 18. The first two suggest that we study aspects of the issue in more detail and...

Cognitive testing of older drivers

Jan 31, 2015 / 5:00 am

I am often asked about driver testing, particularly now that some older drivers are being given cognitive testing as part of the mandatory medical evaluation at and after age 80. This is called the SIMARD test and was developed at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. It allows the doctor or their...

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...
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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]
 




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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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