PROGRAM - Community Safety Enhancement

The B.C. Government has announced a 50% increase in funding for the Community Safety Enhancement Program. This means that there is 7.5 million dollars available for ideas and input from municipalities and local residents to build projects, like better lighting, new crosswalks and improved signage to enhance local road safety. Also included in the program are enhancements for pedestrians, cyclists and transit.

A Pedestrian's Near Miss Story

Pedestrian Caution SignI received a very detailed e-mail this week from a lady who described walking beside Willingdon Road southbound, facing in North Saanich during the early morning darkness. She paused, looked both ways for traffic and continued to the point where Willingdon begins and Canora Road diverges to the northeast.

She stopped and checked for traffic again from the small island that is present between lanes. Finding none, she began to cross the single lane. At this point, a vehicle approached from the south began to accelerate and the driver switched from low to high beam headlights.

CASE LAW - Purewal v Li

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is the story of a left turning driver collision at the intersection of Columbia Street and Marine Drive in Vancouver, B.C. Qiang Li was traveling eastbound on Marine Drive attempting to turn left onto Columbia Street. He collided with a car driven by Jasvir Purewal traveling westbound on Marine Drive in the curb lane. Mr Li's vision was limited by other vehicles waiting in the intersection and he relied on a hand gesture given by Vita Sinclair who indicated to him that the curb lane used by Mr. Purewal was clear.

What’s In Your Rear View Mirror?

Rearview MirrorReaders in Port Alberni and Kelowna have written this week to comment on drivers who stop to turn left between intersections and are then involved in collisions with drivers overtaking from the rear. In Port Alberni this is occurring in a downtown business district with straight road and a posted speed limit of 50 km/h. The situation in Kelowna is a bit different as the speed limit is where this is reported to be happening is higher and the road is not straight. In both cases I would ask the left turning driver “What’s in your rear view mirror?”

CASE LAW - R v Cram

BC Courts Coat of ArmsDavid Cram was driving eastbound on Water Street in Kelowna, B.C. At the intersection with Clement Avenue, the vehicle in front of him stopped, signalling for a left turn. Mr. Cram slowed and after passing the sidewalk curb bulge passed by the stopped vehicle on the right hand side. The roadway at this point is marked for one lane of travel but is wide enough for two vehicles to use. Cst. Paetz was following Mr. Cram in a marked police vehicle and stopped him, issuing a traffic ticket for illegally passing on the right. A judicial justice convicted Mr. Cram of the offence after a trial.

Bright Ideas for Fall Driving

headlightsIt was easy to tell that the first day of fall came yesterday. All I had to do was check my e-mail inbox and count the bright ideas to remind everyone to remember to turn on their lights when driving in the darkness and poor weather conditions. It’s an important thought because your vehicle’s lights not only help you see, they help other road users to see you.

CASE LAW - Mullens v Toor

BC Courts Coat of ArmsAnna Mullens was driving eastbound in the left lane of 64th Avenue in Surrey, B.C. As she neared 132 Street her vehicle was struck on the right side by a vehicle driven by Darshan Toor when he exited the Fruiticana parking lot. Mr. Toor explained that he was invited to exit the parking lot by the driver of a van that had stopped in the curb lane.

Prepare to Stop When Lights are Flashing

Flashing Yellow Advance Warning SignWhen my father-in-law from Quebec visited us here in B.C. years ago he was impressed with the idea of the overhead sign with flashing amber lights marked Prepare to Stop prior to signalized intersections. He thought that these signs made it much easier for the driver to prepare for a safe stop in advance of the signal changing to red. At that time this type of signal was not used where he lived.

OOPS! - Elephant's Feet and Crosswalks

It's always embarrassing when you make a mistake, particularly when you are posting in the B.C. R.C.M.P. Traffic Section Twitter account and don't get your advice quite right. That advice was you cannot ride your bicycle in a crosswalk. The trouble is, in certain circumstances you can. Until recently you needed to know if the municipal bylaw permitted it or not. Today crosswalks that cyclists are allowed to ride across may also be marked with "elephant's feet," a line of squares on the outside of each solid line that forms the crosswalk.

HERGOTT LAW - Sidewalks are Stop Signs

Hergott Law logoPaul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer who practices in Kelowna and writes on a variety of topics about driving in BC and the consequences for the participants when things go wrong. In this article he writes about how sidewalks should be treated as stop signs.

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