Stay wise behind wheel

Retired RCMP officer comments on issues affecting drivers.

Now and again you hear about something so stupid that you shake your head and wonder what the heck was that driver thinking? Yesterday’s case in point was an older female who stopped in the fast lane on the opposite side of a divided highway to take a picture of a fatal collision. All the traffic behind had to screech to a halt to avoid colliding with her.

I’m sorry, but this is really a selfish, totally thoughtless act committed by someone who is old enough to know better. It is not an inadvertant mistake that any one of us might make. This is the type of driver who comes to mind when I hear arguments for raising speed limits, backing off on the Immediate Roadside Prohibition and the impoundment of vehicles for driving at exessive speeds.

They deserve to get “spanked” and in some cases spanked hard. They are thinking only of themselves, or not thinking at all. There is no concern shown for anyone else on the highway and you and I are paying for it with our taxes and insurance premiums. We also pay for it with injury and death.

What to do? Ticket them, prohibit them, require taking driver training or re-examine them before they are able to renew their driver’s licence? Instances of thoughtless behaviour are becoming far too commonplace on our highways and we need to foster an attitude of co-operation and respect. Those that don’t or won’t should be invited to become a passenger instead of a driver.

Glare

Welcome to fall! It’s the time of year that I have trouble driving to work in the morning. The sun is low in the sky to the east at the time of my commute and there is one spot on the highway where it shines directly into my eyes making it very difficult to see. Worse still, this location has an intersection with a traffic light that can be completely obscured by the glare.

The first line of defence is to keep my windshield as clean as possible. I use good wiper blades, winter washer fluid and top up the reservoir regularly. I also use a good quality glass cleaner on the inside of the windshield. It can be surprising how dirty the inside can get when the defroster is used. Dirt makes glare worse, so a clean view is a must.

My sun visor and polarized sunglasses make up the second line of defence. These sunglasses can remove significant amounts of glare and are not to be confused with glasses that have anti-reflective coatings. The two are not the same. When they are not enough, I use the same trick that I use when I am avoiding headlight glare at night, watch the edge of the lane so I know where I am.

The last line of defence is to anticipate and slow down. This gives me more time to search out the traffic signals and make sure that I am not going to run a red light. Keeping in mind that drivers behind me are also affected by the glare I may choose to slow down before it is required so that I am not hit from behind.

The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press Media file
Port Hardy RCMP on the hunt for porta-pottie arsonist

The porta-potties were lit on fire early in the morning on June 13

Eke Me-Xi students enjoy a field trip to Malcolm Island. (Submitted photos)
Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre takes field trip to Malcolm Island

Once at Bere Point, students made themselves at home in the day-use area

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read