Should Bad Drivers be Shamed Publicly?

By DriveSmartBC

Deliberately bad drivers seem to be appearing more and more often on our highways. If the e-mail to the DriveSmartBC website is any indication, other drivers are no longer shrugging it off and report offenders in the hope that they will be held accountable. Some, including myself, have taken to posting photos or video of selfish, inconsiderate or dangerous drivers in that hope that public shaming might improve that driver’s behaviour.

Visit your favourite search engine and enter bad drivers of Vancouver or bad parkers of Kelowna and you will find all sorts of examples of driving or parking that make you wonder why these people still hold valid BC driver’s licences. Probably some of them do not.

Do any of these bad drivers ever see themselves on the internet? I’ve only had one instance where a woman named as the driver responsible for a collision in case law that I posted ask to have her name removed from DriveSmartBC. As it was a published BC Supreme Court judgement, I explained and refused. Nothing further was said.

Shame is a very powerful emotion that can drive personal change. It is also a useful tool to encourage others to conform to societal norms. Is it morally justifiable? If you have no other means to counter people choosing to put your life and health at risk, perhaps it is.

Here is a video of BC licence 942WWX from my commute to work this morning. The incident served as the inspiration for this article:

 

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 ten 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 website, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and websites.

Road Safety: How Many Tie Downs Do You Need?

By DriveSmartBC

Tie Down StrapThe load consisted of rough lumber, about 2×6 or 2×8 size 12 to 14 feet long and 3 feet high on a flat deck trailer pulled by a large pickup truck. Load security was provided by a single heavy strap wrapped once around the middle of the load. The combination was being pulled at highway speed which was 90 km/h. Do you think that this load was secured to the trailer sufficiently?

Even if you knew nothing about the rules that must be followed to properly tie down this load I think you would join me in shaking my head. Have you seen a commercial truck drive past with a similar load at any time while you were driving? How many straps did they have wrapped around the load and how big were they? This knowledge alone should tell you that one strap is not enough.

The minimum number of tie downs needed is determined by the length of the load. Since the load was more than 10 feet long but not more than 20, it needed three. These straps must also be distributed equally along the load.

Next, the capacity of the tie downs must be considered. The aggregate strength must be at least equal to half of the weight of the load. Depending on how strong the tie downs are, you may end up having to use more than the minimum of three but never less.

There are many other loads and situations that can complicate securing a load fully and properly. Rather than trusting to luck, a quick call to the nearest weigh scale, some of which are always open, will get you the expert advice that you need for everyone to be safe.

Reference Links:

  • Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community website 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 ten 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 website, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and website.

No need for speed: Rossland Slows Down

By DriveSmartBC

Map Showing Rossland BC

The City of Rossland has done something rare in our motor vehicle centric world where many drivers think that faster is better. Effective on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 the speed on municipal streets has been lowered to 30 km/h. Hmm you say, that’s the same speed as a school zone. Well, not in Rossland, the speed there has been lowered too. It’s 15 km/h in pick up areas and 20 km/h elsewhere. Interesting!

Reducing speeds on residential streets from 50 km/h to 30 km/h results in a significant reduction in injury and fatality when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian.

Reducing speeds on residential streets results in a more livable neighbourhood. Everyone will be more likely to play, walk or bike because they feel less threatened by drivers.

Do you have 30 seconds to spare? The city’s newsletter contrasts travel times on one of the streets before and after the change. It will cost drivers half a minute.

It will be interesting to revisit this decision in a years time to see if the citizens of Rossland keep this as their residential speed and to ask ICBC about it’s effect on collision rates. If it turns out to be successful perhaps this is the example you can use to help convince your municipality to follow suit.

Reference Links:

  • Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community website 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 ten 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 website, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and website.

#wecandrivebetter: SGI and police focusing on commercial vehicle safety throughout August

Read more

A Pedestrian with a Death Wish

Walk SignalThe collision counter on this web site estimates 33 pedestrian deaths and 1374 pedestrian injury collisions in BC to July 29, 2015. I almost added to that number driving in Vancouver last weekend and the incident still has me shaking my head. I can’t believe that a pedestrian could be that stupid!

I had stopped for a red light in the downtown area and intended to make a right turn. After the pedestrian signal went red and the people had crossed, I pulled across the marked crosswalk and stopped again where I could see cross traffic well. I found my gap and was about to proceed when I looked right and found a pedestrian right in front of me crossing against the light. He was busy with his cell phone and was wearing earbuds and never even looked at me as he walked around the car.

He probably owes some of his good fortune to my wife who yelled and made sure that I hit the brakes before I drove over him.

The courts say that we can expect to proceed as if other road users will obey the laws. What that really means is if I had hit this person, he would probably have been assessed most of the fault for the collision. However, he was there to be seen and I would have bourne some of the blame too. Thank goodness it never came to that!

Police wrote only 210 tickets to pedestrians for failing to obey pedestrian signals in all of the province in 2014. It would appear that you have little risk of being called to account for this selfish behaviour.

Reference Links:

  • 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 ten 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 site.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest