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Why is Sayward at Pat Bay still on top-10 crash list?

September 18, 2020


Traffic passes through the intersection of Sayward and Highway 17, one of the top-10 crash sites on the Island. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST


Readers’ musings are worth a look. Here are some of them.

Alex believes there is little mystery as to why the intersection of Sayward and the Pat Bay Highway is one of the top-10 crash sites on the Island. For a few years, a major construction project designed to alleviate any problems knocked the location out of the top-10 list. So why is it back to the same old, same old at this site?

Alex contends that moving the bus stop was meant to be a panacea, but only had a minor affect. Bus drivers like the change, but are nonetheless targeted by irresponsible speeders, as drivers re-enter traffic lanes moving north.

The advance-left-turn traffic lights are far too short. It should be easy to extend this cycle to accommodate the predictable ferry-traffic cycle. A three-light wait is not uncommon at rush sequences, says Alex. We have the technology. Why not use it? Timing traffic lights is not rocket science!

With no left-turn advance for east-west travellers on Sayward, drivers go into the gas station parking lot, do a U-turn and cut back to the intersection to make a right turn heading to Victoria. Frustrated red-light cheaters are a factor in crashes, according to Alex. I agree.

Jim wanted a further clarification of the rules for play and school zones and the red painted warning on the pavement in such zones.

The bold red pavement paint has no legal standing, but is meant to have shock value, serving as a wake-up call for drivers. All speed tab signs, including for school and playground zones, must be black numbers on a white background to be legal.

Don wanted to remind drivers of the responsibility to yield to those in the act of parking. It is legal to pass if conditions allow. The driver doing the park has the right of way. Other drivers can only pass if no other oncoming traffic is present or threatening.

Right of way at four-way stops is something that Don sees confound drivers. It is nice to be courteous, but it is not proper for an overly accommodating driver to let all others go ahead, out of order. Sticking to the order-of-arrival rule works best.

Put your headlights on, particularly in the fall and winter. The daytime running lights are automatically on for all vehicles manufactured for Canada since 1990. Drivers should activate the full headlight function not only to be visible to oncoming drivers, but even more importantly, to those following. This will reduce the threat of a rear-end crash by creating the illusion of closeness because of the taillight illumination.

Barbara had the quote of the year: “As a society, we have doubled down on measures to combat COVID-19, causing major disruptions to our lives, yet we allow dangerous driving behaviors, which take many lives and injure thousands.”

Barbara thinks of the lives that could be saved if we gave the same attention to deadly vehicles crashes as we do to combating COVID-19 deaths.

Claire has difficulty seeing cyclists, particularly at dusk and at night. She would like all cyclists to use running lights, front and back, to help drivers see bike riders. Oscillating front and back lights would make their presence much more visible to drivers, who could then give them the space they need.

Bennett wants to remind drivers that a solid white line means no lane change, as all drivers are travelling in the same direction. At the shoulder of the road, it means no passing on the right.
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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