#RoadSafety – But I Didn’t Know!

I often prowl through driving forums on the internet searching for interesting topics of discussion. The following quote came from a site in Kelowna:

Sadly, not everyone knows the rules of the road and/or how to operate their motor vehicle correctly. Pressing the pedals and basic coordination is about as far as some people get.

We live in an age of readily accessible information if we have an internet connection and a bit of curiosity. The Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations are our official rule books. Learn to Drive Smart and Tuning Up For Drivers are the starter guides for those of us who are starting our driving careers. TranBC is a blog that carries driving tips and news from the B.C. Government.

The YouTube channel for Smart Drive Test delivers free driving lessons tailored specifically for B.C. Drivers.

Organizations such as the B.C.A.A. and SafetyDriven promote road safety on their web sites.

This site, Achieving Justice and the B.C. Driving Blog are good resources created by road safety advocates on their own.

I cannot think of a recent change to our provincial driving environment that has not been reported by traditional media or social media. While the coverage may not be detailed or in the case of some social media posts totally accurate, at least one should have an idea that there might have been a change that affects you.

Shrugging your shoulders and saying to yourself that you either already know enough or will learn about it later on if you need to can be expensive.

The instance that brought this to mind was an inquiry from an Ontario visitor to our province. She had her cell phone in her lap and looked down to study the GPS map while she was in bumper to bumper traffic on the way to the airport. When she looked up again she noticed flashing lights in her blind spot and received a ticket for distracted driving.

Her question to me concerned how she might successfully fight this ticket.

This might be difficult to accomplish as the rules in Ontario parallel those here in B.C. was my first response.

Well, I didn’t know that and it’s almost impossible to know all the rules of the road she said. If the cell phone is supposed to be secured in a holder, shouldn’t the car rental company provide one?

The head in the sand approach to learning will probably cost this lady at least the price of the ticket which is currently $368. If she intends to dispute the ticket she will either have to come back to B.C. to conduct her defence or hire a lawyer to act on her behalf. Chances are very good that retaining counsel will be at least double the cost of the ticket itself with no guarantee of having the charge dismissed.

As with many other things in our life, we need to take possession of the issue and make sure that we have the proper knowledge and skills to be successful at what we undertake to do. Making mistakes while driving has outcomes that range from damaging our bank account to damaging ourselves, our loved ones or the lives of other road users.

Top Reasons Why Drivers Should Always Have Auto Insurance

Top Reasons Why Drivers Should Always Have Auto Insurance

LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2017 PRNewswire-iReach/ — Lowrateautoinsurances.com has released a new blog post explaining why drivers should always have auto insurance.

Besides being mandatory in many states, auto insurance provides essential financial protection drivers cannot do without. Car owners should never drive without coverage, especially if it is illegal in their state. Being without coverage exposes the car owner to high financial and legal expenses. There is also the risk of seeing a cost increase when purchasing auto insurance.

How to buy the right auto insurance plan

Purchasing auto insurance is not always easy. There are many decisions to be made. Choosing an agency and a policy can be difficult, but car insurance is nevertheless an essential investment that all car owners have to make. Each driver can now benefit from important resources that will aid them in their search for better coverage.

Talking with a professional before purchasing an auto insurance plan is always recommended. Even a simple phone call can help clients make better decisions. Vehicle coverage can provide much needed financial protection in dire situations.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the right policy

http://www.autoinsurance-reviews.com/ has important contacts with top insurance agencies in any area. Clients will be able to review multiple policies on the website because a professional search engine will display quotes relevant for them. The process is efficient and offers a quick way of shopping for vehicle coverage.

By comparing car insurance quotes, drivers can find better coverage options for their vehicles. Online auto insurance quotes are easy to get and can help drivers shop for coverage in a simple and efficient way.

“Online car insurance quotes will help you find appropriate coverage for your vehicle. Visit us and never drive without coverage again.” said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company.

Lowrateautoinsurances.com is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc.

For more information, please visit http://lowrateautoinsurances.com/.

#RoadSafety: Convenience vs Catastrophe

Some incidents encountered during a career in policing stick with you for life and sometimes resurface later on as lessons learned. This memory involved a mother dropping her young son off for a birthday party by pulling over and stopping on the right side of the street. He exited the car and excited to join the festivities, ran to the back and darted across the street. He was struck and killed by a passing vehicle.

I was sent to the hospital at the beginning of the investigation to check on the mother and child because we did not know of the child’s condition at the time. I knew the woman personally because her older son was in the Cub Pack I volunteered with as a leader. Her anguish was terrible to see and I have no doubt that she will spend the rest of her life wishing that she had taken the extra time to pull into the driveway and let her son out of the car on safe ground.

One of my co-workers dealt with the driver of the vehicle that struck the boy so I did not get to see him. Do you think that he will ever forget that day? How many times will he go over the incident in his mind and try to see what he could have done to produce a different outcome?

All of this flashed through my mind when I followed behind a pickup truck one morning last week. Children wait for the school bus on the side of the street near my home. There were already children and adults waiting ahead on my right.

The pickup moved over into the oncoming lane and stopped across from the group. Instant deja vu.

I slowed immediately and proceeded at a walking pace between the group and the pickup, watching both sides for movement across the road. No one crossed and I was able to pass by safely.

What was going on in the mind of the pickup driver? Why not pull over to the right side of the street and stop? The vehicle had no businesess being on the wrong side of the road. In addition, the stop must be made with the vehicle at the right hand edge of the roadway.

All the driver had really done was managed to add more confusion to the situation.

In retrospect, despite what I had remembered from my past, the confusion here extended to me as well.

I had a duty not to collide with a pedestrian, especially a child, and in this situation had already inferred the possibility of one being present.

In general, you are required to pass by an overtaken vehicle on the left. There is an exception to this rule when there is an unobstructed lane on the right, as there was here. However, that pass on the right can only be done if it is safe to do. Both the pickup on the wrong side of the road and the possibility of a child getting out of it to wait for the school bus made the circumstances unsafe.

I should have stopped and stayed stopped until the situation resolved itself. Moving into a position of possible conflict regardless of how slow I was going was a poor choice.

Sometimes we can make all manner of errors when we drive and it still turns out all right in the end. However, don’t let those errors become the default setting.

Garage owner gets chance to fight liability for teen hurt in stolen car crash

By Colin Perkel


TORONTO _ A garage owner will get a chance to argue before the Supreme Court of Canada that he should not be held responsible for the terrible injuries a teen suffered when he and a friend stole a car from the lot and crashed it.

Canada’s top court agreed last week to hear the highly unusual case in which the injured teen successfully sued the garage for leaving the car unlocked and its keys in the ashtray.

Court records show the teens had been drinking and smoking marijuana when they trespassed on Chad Rankin’s property in Paisley, Ont., late on an evening in July 2006. One of the teens, then 16, decided to steal a Toyota Camry even though he had never driven before.

The duo headed to Walkerton but never made it. The passenger, who can only be identified as J.J., was left with catastrophic brain injuries in the ensuing crash. J.J., then 15, sued his friend and his friend’s mother as well as Rankin for negligence.

Superior Court Justice Johanne Morissette determined Rankin owed J.J. a duty of care because, among other things, people entrusted with motor vehicles “must assure themselves that the youth in their community are not able to take possession of such dangerous objects.”

The jury then found the injured teen and the defendants negligent, but laid the bulk of the blame 37 per cent on the garage owner. In doing so, jurors cited the fact that the car was unlocked, the key was in the vehicle, and that Rankin should have known there was a risk of theft. They also faulted him for the overall lack of security.

Last October, Ontario’s Court of Appeal refused to overturn the trial verdict, saying that Rankin did indeed owe J.J. a duty of care _ although not for the reasons Morissette had stated. It also found the jury’s findings reasonable.

“On the face of things, the notion that an innocent party could owe a duty of care to someone who steals from him seems extravagant, but matters are not so simple,” Appeal Court Justice Grant Huscroft wrote for the panel. “It is well established that the duty of care operates independently of the illegal or immoral conduct of an injured party.”

In this novel case, the Appeal Court found ample evidence supported the conclusion of “foreseeability” that a car might be stolen.

Trial witnesses, the court noted, testified that Rankin’s Garage routinely left cars unlocked with the keys inside, while other garages used lock-boxes or took other measures to secure the keys. Rankin himself testified that the witnesses had lied, saying he kept keys in a safe, and checked every night that vehicles were locked.

In addition, evidence was that the garage took no measures to keep people off the property when it was closed, there had been a previous auto theft from the lot, and joyriding in the area was common.

“The risk of theft was clear,” Huscroft wrote. “It was foreseeable that minors might take a car from Rankin’s Garage that was made easily available to them.”

Rankin, Huscroft found, had abrogated his responsibility for securing the cars against theft by minors like J.J. and while a different jury might have parcelled out the blame differently, its conclusions were not unreasonable. The court also ordered Rankin to pay J.J. $30,000 in legal costs.

It’s not clear when the Supreme Court will hear the case.

Top 10 most stolen vehicles in Vancouver – Did yours make the list?

Top 10 most stolen vehicles in Vancouver – Did yours make the list?

By Eric Zimmer | Daily Hive

Got an older Honda Civic currently sitting in your driveway?

You might want to double check.

The Vancouver Police released their list of the top 10 most stolen cars in Vancouver, and not only is the Honda Civic a popular car to own, it’s the most popular one to steal.

Other popular choices for car thieves include Ford F-150s, Toyota Camrys, and Jeep Cherokees.

Top 10 stolen vehicles in Vancouver

  1. Honda Civic (pre-2000)
  2. Ford F-150 (pre-1999) and Ford F-250 trucks (pre-2007)
  3. Honda Accord (pre-1998)
  4. Dodge/Plymouth Chrysler minivan (1991-2000)
  5. Jeep Cherokee (1993 to 1999)
  6. Ford Econoline van (2000 to 2007)
  7. Toyota Corolla (1990 to 2004)
  8. Chevrolet/GMC Silverado/ Sierra Trucks (1992 to 2006)
  9. Acura Integra (1990 to 2001)
  10. Toyota Camry / Solara (1989 to 1999)

If your car made the list, but anti-theft devices cost more than your ride, the VPD may have a solution for you.

The detachment is giving away wheel locks at four different locations while supplies last.

Get your own Plymouth (or whatever thief-prone vehicle you own) protector at these community police centres:

  • Collingwood – 5160 Joyce Street, Vancouver
  • Hastings Sunrise CPC – 2620 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • Kerrisdale Oakridge Marpole – 6070 E. Boulevard, Vancouver
  • Granville Downtown– 1263 Granville Street, Vancouver

Source: Dally Hive

RoadSafety: VIDEO – This Season’s Killer Look

video iconThis video comes to us through the Road Safety Authority of Ireland. It draws attention to the serious risk presented by wearing a shoulder belt under the arm instead of over the shoulder. According to the information, this is a common occurrence among young women. Unfortunately, it does not carry on to explain how shorter statured people can make the shoulder belt both effective and comfortable to wear properly.

Takata advises that the shoulder belt should fall across the center of the collar bone when properly worn. So, what happens when there is no way to adjust the shoulder belt down and the the seat does not rise far enough to get you there? The best that I can do is point you to the nearest dealer for your make of vehicle to ask them for advice because my searches for information on the internet hasn’t turned up anything reliable to point to. If you have a good resource, please let us know using the Contact link under About DriveSmartBC at the top of the page.

I have seen people do things like putting a clip on the seatbelt at the D ring on the pillar to force slack into the shoulder belt. This is a bad solution because during a collision slack seatbelts do not protect properly. I also see things for sale called seatbelt “adjusters” aimed at shorter people. Unless these products can show approval markings from Transport Canada or some other reputable testing agency it would be wise to save your money and not purchase them.


Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.

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