We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

The lowdown on reflective clothing

December 11, 2020


A pedestrian is virtually invisible on a dark, rainy night. Reflective gear is a must when venturing out at night and a bike shop is the place to find it, Steve Wallace writes. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST


Readers were wondering where to get clothing that would provide a high-intensity reflection when venturing out at night. Being seen in the dark makes every pedestrian feel that much safer. Martha is a regular reader, and she had a suggestion about reflective clothing. Go to a bike shop! They have the best reflective outerwear. Some have complete outfits that make a pedestrian stand out. The clothing is more like a shell, and it is meant to be worn over regular winter attire. She recommends getting a bigger size than usual, to account for a sweater or jacket underneath. She calls it her “don’t hit me” apparel and complements it with a flashlight.

Margaret says the Norwegian jacket made by Blaest is great for night walks.

Dwight says you can get reflective arm and leg bands on Amazon.

Rob has a Provib jacket that glows in the dark. He says it is great for visibility.

Hu says Vancouver company Sugio uses Zap Tech, a popular reflective technology. The Bike to Work group in Victoria are said to be using the product, which is deemed a technological breakthrough. It can be found at

Tim is a retired policeman. He wears gear from in Nanaimo.

Donna referenced lane theft as a neighbourhood problem. She described the situation where a driver in a residential area moves into a portion of the oncoming lane to compensate for parked vehicles on their own side of the road. The approaching vehicles, with no parked cars on their side of the road, are forced to stop well in advance to accommodate the oncoming interloper.
The vehicle with the parked cars on their side of the road is obliged to yield to unobstructed approaching traffic of all kinds. If a crash were to occur, it would be difficult for the interloper to justify being on the wrong side of the road. Many residential streets are very narrow, and it is best to allow those unobstructed to proceed.

J.D. wanted to remind all drivers that “dooring” is always the driver’s fault. He is correct in this assertion. Hopefully, the increased fine of $368 will get people thinking about the “Dutch reach” method of safely exiting the vehicle. Passengers, particularly minors, should be made aware of the ever-present danger of exiting the vehicle, if it is parked on the left side of a one-way street. Drivers are subject to paying the fine for minors in the event a mishap does take place. Such a fine is the least of their worries, given the threat to life and limb in this situation.

Phyliss is upset with the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, now called the less threatening Road Safety B.C. She wants to be informed whether she has passed or failed the driving portion of the Senior’s Road test immediately upon conclusion of the test. Why wait for weeks to get the result when every other driving test candidate gets the results immediately at the conclusion of the road test?

Shelley wants us all to be kinder behind the wheel. There are times when we react poorly in the face of an error made by another person, whether pedestrian, driver or cyclist. Relax, it is not the end of the world. Kindness conquers all!

Dick has noticed that transit drivers do two things that engender great comradery on the road. They will often give a grateful hand wave, signifying a thanks for the brake, upon entry back into traffic. They will use their four-way-flashers to the same end. There are still people who are not aware of the bus drivers’ right-of-way when signalling to leave the curb and enter traffic, despite the rule change over two decades ago.

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