Don't Push Me!
Ah courtesy, where have you gone? You are certainly scarce on the highways and byways of our fair province! When was the last time another driver did something nice for you to facilitate a movement? Did you wave to say thank you afterward? We can all get along nicely with a bit of courtesy now and again.
Here is the message from the DriveSmartBC inbox that triggered my observation:
One thing that really bugs me is that drivers almost push their way into traffic. Whether it be coming from a side street or backing out from their driveway they don't seem to know that they shouldn't be impeding rolling traffic. I was always taught that if you are entering a roadway one should do so that moving traffic doesn't have to significantly slow, or in some cases jam on their brakes to let you in.
Yes, there are many drivers who don't know the meaning of the word yield, including this reader. They will no doubt be shocked to learn that sometimes through traffic does have to yield to those who are trying to enter or leave the highway. Heaven forbid!
If I am attempting to turn left at an intersection and you are approaching me from the front, if you are close enough to be a hazard, I must yield and let you pass by. However, if you are not, you must yield and allow me to turn left.
Don't EVER count on approaching traffic to do this.
If I have stopped at the stop sign on a cross street and yielded to traffic passing by on the through street, if you are not approaching closely, you must yield and let me enter or cross the through street.
Drivers who wait patiently for a gap in the traffic when it is heavy may wait for hours, so they do creep forward until a passing driver is uncomfortable and stops to let them in.
Of course, there are also drivers who jam themselves into traffic without regard for others in order to save a few seconds. They may be charged for failing to yield the right of way as well.
For those who are trying to do this backward, the entire onus to proceed safely is on the driver who is travelling in reverse.
Vancouver's Worst Drivers Dashcam is a YouTube channel that is full of examples of bad driving from the lower mainland. There are many channels like it and some specialize is showing collisions.
If you watch a few of these videos, it quickly becomes apparent that many drivers feel entitled to their right of way and will insist on it, right to the point of becoming involved in a clearly avoidable crash!
As all of my driving instructor friends will tell you, right of way is given, not taken.
- Yielding Right of Way on Left Turn - Section 174 MVA
- Entering Through Highway - Section 175(2) MVA
- Caution in Backing Vehicle - Section 193 MVA
Okay, I get it but equally bad or even worse is when traffic is bumper to bumper and ahead is a stop light or sign and the selfish self-righteous drivers so unaware they get upset at you when you motion to maybe let you in off that side street or driveway. Courtesy is a two way street and it takes awareness.
Thank you to all those that drive with awareness and exercise thoughtfulness.
Exactly, it's an interactive environment. Or should be.
For sure, and even in the UK (where I've driven frequently over the last few decades), where drivers must continuously give and take on their narrow roadways to keep each direction flowing, there's less acknowledgement (that wave of the hand) from the beneficiary.
But it does annoy me, when I try to help other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc with the right of way situation, and they can't be bothered to recognize or acknowledge it.
If You Want to Survive...
Those of us who used to teach traffic law or, in your case, enforce it, are well aware of the subtleties and intricacies of the law, but if the average driver ever became aware of it they seem to quickly forget it. As a motorcyclist, you must adhere to your words “Right of way is given, not taken” if they want to survive.
Amazing that in 2020 we still have a very small percentage of new drivers actually taking a full driver ed program. Even more amazing that so many activities we undertake require formal education/training, but the most dangerous thing most citizens engage in does not require it. The most terrible standard is with Class 1/3 drivers where only air brake training is required.
Here in the Shuswap we see the consequences of this quite frequently with the trucks on their sides off the road. Hopefully they don’t take someone else with them.
I can well imagine you see a lot of trucks on their side in your area. It's because there are a lot of people behind the wheel of semis, who have no business being there. Most schools don't train you to drive truck. They teach you just enough to pass the test. The learning part comes after that, in the real world. ICBC agents are supposed to be the guardians, giving licenses to Competant drivers, and preventing people without the necessary skills, from driving until better trained. After Humboldt, the guy who should have been scrutinized is the guy who signed the form saying this guy was Competant to drive a set of super b's on his own.
class 3 and class 1 licenses need to be graduated, just like a 5. The framework is already there within the ICBC office. The program is obviously working. It needs to be applied to the highest class of license also.