Backup and docking lights
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 lamps a few times. The offending driver didn't get the hint and his backup floodlight remained on, but both vehicles and their drivers were in the wrong.
For those of us who are not driving trucks or truck tractors, we are allowed two white lights designated as type SAE R or E Code AR that may only light when our vehicle is in reverse gear. Of course, these lights are already built into our rear light assemblies by the manufacturer. If you wish to use a different lamp assembly, they must conform and the OEM lights would have to be disabled.
Trucks and truck tractors are allowed to have one or two docking lamps in addition to the two backup lamps. There is no mention of lamp standards, colours or mounting in the rule books except that they may only operate if the vehicle is in neutral or reverse gear and that they must be directed so that the high intensity portion of the beam will not strike the eye of another driver.
Neither one of these drivers should have been able to illuminate any of these lamps while they were traveling in a forward direction on the highway. I'm also curious about how they managed to pass inspection at a designated inspection facility in this condition.
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.
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