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Behind The Wheel

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...

Post crash seatbelt investigation

Aug 16, 2014 / 5:00 am

Part of the investigation of any serious motor vehicle collision is an examination of the seatbelts to determine if the person in that seating position was restrained or not. The outcome could determine whether a ticket for failing to wear the restraint was issued or not but I suspect that more...

Mouthwash to hide liquor breath

Aug 2, 2014 / 5:00 am

Before the advent of the roadside screening device the use of mouthwash to hide the odour of liquor on a driver's breath was not unheard of. Today using a mouthwash containing alcohol as you approach a road check can be a very dangerous thing to do. The alcohol present in your mouth from the...

Don't let this become your default setting

Jul 26, 2014 / 5:00 am

Dan is a friend that I occasionally get together with to discuss road safety. He's a commercial trucker and driving instructor with a lot of experience behind the wheel. The last time that we had lunch together he made a comment that struck me and I promised to borrow for a column topic....

I can rationalize that behaviour

Jul 19, 2014 / 5:00 am

I glanced at the driver stopped beside me at a red light today. He was busily chatting with someone via the cell phone that he was holding to his ear with his right hand. A marked police vehicle pulled up to our right and stopped to wait for the red as well. The driver beside me noticed, put his...

The courtesy wave

Jul 12, 2014 / 5:00 am

Have you ever pulled up to an intersection and found another driver who has the right of way waving you on? Such acts of courtesy are uncommon on our highways but thankfully are not unheard of. Who would guess that such an act of kindness could actually expose the driver extending the courtesy to...

Electronic device use

Jul 5, 2014 / 5:00 am

Can we all agree that driving while distracted is a bad thing? Probably. Would we also consider that this would be more important for an inexperienced driver than a practiced one? Very likely. Did you know that our laws concerning the use of electronic devices while driving actually reflect this...

The keep right attitude

Jun 28, 2014 / 5:00 am

The left lane is so popular lately that when I use the right lane I often find myself behind far fewer vehicles at the next red traffic light. In fact, at one particular intersection on my commute many times I can be first in line. Everyone else seems stuck in the left lane trying to get ahead,...

Leaving your vehicle unsecured

Jun 21, 2014 / 5:00 am

Recent social media posts are rehashing a story from last summer in Nanaimo where a woman received a traffic ticket for leaving her parked vehicle unattended with the doors unlocked and the windows rolled down. While the law does require that you must lock your vehicle or make it secure in some...

How wide? How long? How high?

Jun 14, 2014 / 5:00 am

How wide? How long? How high? These questions, when asked in relation to vehicles and their loads, probably bring large commercial vehicles to mind for most drivers. The Commercial Transport Regulations do set out the maximum dimensions for commercial vehicles and their loads. The Motor Vehicle Act...

Smart cyclists ride on the right

May 31, 2014 / 5:00 am

As humans, we are predominantly right handed. In North America we drive on the right side, tend to walk on the right side and I suspect that this right side bias carries over into many other areas that we are not even aware of. I learned as a young police officer that if I was attempting to catch a...

Be smart about vehicle modifications

May 24, 2014 / 5:00 am

There are many different types of vehicles manufactured today in many different models and colours with a host of accessories to make your ride just right for you. For some of us, this just isn't enough and we want to modify our vehicles to suit our personalities and desires. Some of these...

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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