Cutting the corner
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 haven't seen a crash happen here because of this behaviour yet, but my traffic policing experience tells me that it is just a matter of time.
It doesn't matter that there are no lines painted on the pavement at this spot, a driver is still required to confine the path of their vehicle to the right hand half of the roadway. Lines are helpful, but they too are often ignored as evidenced by the uneven wear of the center line in another nearby section of winding road near my neighbourhood. I've met drivers there who are crowding the line or actually slightly onto my side of it.
Why are these drivers so poor at maintaining proper lane position? Surely everyone must realize that keeping to your lane has to be one of the most important rules of driving! Just because you don't want to slow down or are too lazy to steer properly doesn't mean that you are entitled to use some of my side of the highway.
If you maintain proper lane position then you have a safety buffer around your vehicle that allows you to take avoidance action if something untoward should occur. Consider what might happen if you meet another driver that drives the same way you do. Maybe it is a good idea to stay to the right of center after all.
The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit drivesmartbc.ca.
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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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