We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Bus drivers the best on the road

November 13, 2020


Fear of the coronavirus is behind a recent drop in bus ridership, Steve Wallace writes. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST


Why are so few people riding the bus? Think about it. The best drivers on the roads are bus drivers. These drivers are among the safest on the road. The low ridership has nothing to do with safety or convenience. It is the fear of the coronavirus that has resulted in the greatest decline in patrons on the bus in living memory.

The most difficult vehicles to control are those with a “fluid” cargo. Tanker trucks with a constantly shifting load are the most difficult to control. Logging truck drivers are in much the same position on resource roads, with the settling movement of their load prior to getting to the paved portions of their trips. Buses are in much the same situation with a constant shifting load as passengers embarking find their seats and those leaving the bus get positioned for the exits. Hopefully, people will mask up and take advantage of the bus drivers’ collective excellent safety record and opt for a professional ride experience.

Albert wants to know why the police are not issuing tickets to truckers in trucks of all sizes that throw rocks back at following traffic. There is a frustration coming from many Central and North Islanders experiencing this problem. Paying a windshield replacement deductible several time throughout the winter season is not only time consuming but also a pain in the wallet.

The main problem is with trucks with oversized tires that extend laterally beyond the vehicle frame and with larger transport trucks with worn or no mud flaps. Truckers are very seldom to blame for this travesty. They must routinely be subjected to weigh scale inspection and other scrutiny. Large pickups are usually the problem.

A few years ago, Jeep made the decision to extend the track of their vehicles. They made an adjustment to add the fender extensions to eliminate the wide stance potential debris throwback. Most vehicle manufacturers have followed suit. There has been a tendency to widen the grooves in the tire tread, which should reduce the throwback potential, but some would argue this move has simply allowed for larger rocks to get jammed in the tread, only to be released with greater damage potential to following traffic.

The highway contractor is probably the best to control the aggregate composition and size. They usually do a good job of filtering the larger stones out of circulation before application. There is a size guideline to which they must adhere.It is a good idea to stay well back of the industrial traffic on our highways. Pickups with tires outside the frame are subject to an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act. Police react to complaint. Enough said.

Jeff is concerned with the crosswalk danger for pedestrians.

The recent conviction of the driver who excessively sped through a legally designated and identified crosswalk, severely injuring, for life, a young girl on her way to school, is a sad reminder that crosswalks must be better identified and illuminated. It is long past time that every crosswalk be better identified. Why do deaths and serious injuries have to occur before any action is taken? Jeff says: “It is always money before humanity”.

Light it up like Vegas! This should be our credo. We should demand nothing less, regardless of cost. Pedestrians everywhere deserve the right to be clearly seen at legal crossings. New lighting technology is much less expensive to operate than the streetlights of yesteryear. Cyclists travel at much higher speeds and should light up in the same fashion to protect pedestrians and themselves from unaware or distracted drivers.
Steve Wallace is the owner of Wallace Driving School on Vancouver Island. He is a former V.P. of the Driving Schools Association of the Americas, a registered B.C. teacher and a U of Manitoba graduate.

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