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We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

You have questions, Steve has answers

October 5, 2018

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, October 5th 2018

It’s not a good idea to drive with a handicapped card hanging from the rear-view mirror, Steve Wallace writes, both for visibility and the fact the card is legal only when the car is parked.

 

More recent random reader requests from the mailbag:

Ken has a handicapped card hanging from the rear-view mirror, facing forward while driving.
He has a simple question.

Is it advisable to do so?

It is not a good idea to drive with the card in place. It can obstruct vision.
It is not legal to display the card unless the vehicle is parked.
Many drivers, using such a symbol, do not remove it each time they leave a parking place.
They find the cards to be rather flimsy.
The plastic cracks and splits far too often.

The hooked top part of the card, hanging from the mirror, breaks far too often.
It is about time someone designed a more durable symbol.
Jill wants to know who has the right-of-way, when a driver turning left faces a driver on the other side of the road preparing to turn right.
There are a couple of rules governing this situation.

The old rule of “left goes last” applies.
There is a better explanation which is referenced in all driving situations.
“The wanter waits” is a general rule governing all situations.
The left turner wants the space on the opposite side of the road.

The right turner does not want the space to the left.

The wanter waits.

Jane had a very practical reason to keep her health card and licence separate.
If she ever lost one of them, she would still have an official government issue photo identification.
Many drivers signal left to enter and while in a traffic roundabout.
They believe it attracts attention to their intention to enter and stay in the circle.

They signal right to exit.

The legal responsibility to signal one’s intention of directional travel only applies to exiting a roundabout.
Any additional signalling, although not legally required, does end the guessing game of true driver intention.
Brenda wanted me to mention the senior requirement to visit the doctor’s office every two years after age 80, and furthermore, that it can be necessary to do so every year if there is a debilitating physical or cognitive condition.

Glenda got very upset with the senior-driver situation in B.C. She asked several questions and drew some conclusions.
Here is the gist of her position.
She references the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

She asks: Are seniors being discriminated against by being denied a service based on age?
She quoted sections of the charter.
There is also a concern about age discrimination as it pertains to the Human Rights Act.
Her advice includes rewarding good drivers of all ages and penalizing all those with bad driving records, regardless of age.

Quick actions are responsible for a great number of vehicle crashes.
There are only three likely causes of a quick action behind the wheel: You made an error, the other commuter made an error to which you are reacting, and someone is acting like a jerk.
The best drivers very seldom make quick actions.

This is advice I received several years ago from one of my mentors, early in my driver-education career.

Tom had an interesting observation concerning the narrowing of a roadway to produce a trafficcalming situation.
A single lane with indented turning bays has resulted in lower crash rates in his neighbourhood, compared with many double-lane road configurations.

Al is a retired police officer.

He believes left-foot braking, in a vehicle with an automatic transmission, should only be done by professional drivers with a wealth of experience.
He has attended many crashes in which a shocked driver used the left foot while keeping the right foot depressed on the gas pedal.
The loss of control was dramatic.

 

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