Dear Cop - Backing Vehicle

I have noticed more and more when parallel parking, cars are not stopping and allowing me to back up and park into a parking spot, instead they are driving around me, causing me to stop, not wanting to hit them as I back in.
#1..who is in the right? and #2 ..what should happen if I am backing up and
I have my signal on and I hit somebody who hasn't stopped and is going
around me? Am I at fault?

Caution in Backing Vehicle
Section 193 of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that the driver of a vehicle must not cause the vehicle to move back-wards into an intersection or over a crosswalk, and must not in any event or at any place cause a vehicle to move back-wards unless the movement can be made in safety.

Duty when overtaking
Section 157 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that the driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle
(a) must cause the vehicle to pass to the left of the other vehicle at a safe distance, and
(b) must not cause or permit the vehicle to return to the right side of the highway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

The onus is usually on the vehicle which is backing up. When a driver of a vehicle is about to back into a parking stall and the appropriate signals have been activated, all traffic in the same direction approaching the backing vehicle should leave the appropriate space in order to allow the backing vehicle to pull into a parking stall safely. Circumstances of a crash are important for the enforcement of these two sections as the passing vehicle must do so safely.

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison

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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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