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Behind-the-Wheel

Go first, think second

I've started to take my own advice and back into parking stalls more often.

There have been some unique experiences, mostly pedestrians that blithely march past the back of my vehicle ignoring the signal and backup lights, but there are drivers who want to go first and think second.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to include myself in that category this time around.

My most recent experience involved a parking lot where the entry curves to the right and on a grade.

I pulled up far enough to line up on a parking stall on the driver's side while signalling my intent to move left.

I put the car in reverse and watched as another driver pulled up behind me and stopped. He was so close that I did not think that I could safely reverse without running into his vehicle.

Why couldn't he have stopped just a bit further back I thought to myself. If he had been thinking ahead I could just back out of his way and be done with it.

I waited for the driver to go around me and he waited for me to get out of his way.

After a few moments of consideration on both our parts he started to honk his horn, but I continued to wait.

Finally, he had enough and passed me over the single solid yellow line that separated the lanes in the parking lot.

Hmmm....single solid yellow line. You must always stay to the right of these lines unless you are passing an overtaken vehicle or avoiding an obstruction.

That rule does have an exception for those who are entering or leaving the highway.

The trouble here being that I wasn't leaving the highway. The entire parking lot is the highway.

If I wanted to use that parking spot I had selected on my left I needed to have my vehicle pointed in the opposite direction and be driving on the other side of that yellow line.

Sorry, I obviously wasn't thinking! From now on I will use the next entrance that will allow me to be properly positioned before I park.

Story URL: http://www.drivesmartbc.ca/backing/go-first-think-second

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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