Hitch Mounted Bike Racks

Bike RackI have a question about rear hitch mounted bike racks which are readily available in stores. We use one with 4 bikes on it for our family and when the 4 bikes are loaded they obstruct the view of the rear licence plate, brake lights and turn signals. The corner lights can be seen through the spokes of the bike wheels but not clearly. Any opinion on this because these are widely used?

You seem to have described the problems associated with this type of bicycle carrier clearly yourself.

The rear lamps "must not be shielded, covered or obscured by any part of the vehicle or load or by dirt or other material" to quote the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations. The hazard might be greatest during the day when bright sunlight coupled with this obstruction prevents the brake lights from being visible to a driver following you. The resulting rear end collision would certainly be considered to be at least partially your fault.

With regard to the license plate, it must also "be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign material, so that the numbers and letters on it may be plainly seen and read at all times."

Before you scrap the rack or sell it to some other unsuspecting purchaser, it could easily be made legal again. Moving the license plate to the back of it along with duplicating the lights that are obstructed on the vehicle would not be expensive or difficult to do.

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I just finished reading your article on bicycle racks. I have often seen vehicles, as described, on the road, both here and all over North America, one of the problems seems to be enforcement, with so many sightings, there can't be any, this includes, dirty and or covered license plates, tail/rear lights, rear windows, rear view mirrors, inoperative lights, parking, running, head/tail lights signal lights.

When my wife and I first moved to the Comox Valley, there were numerous light/and other checks, carried on the roadside, on a pretty near daily basis, now there are none.

Another matter is, that people seem to think that, turning on a signal light, for a lane change, gives them the right away, and they cut off whatever traffic that may be in their way, when questioning this, and other items at the local RCMP station, I seem to get the same officer each time, and I'm given the same collective answer each time, as if he can't be bothered to investigate it "THERE IS NO FAST RULE FOR THIS SITUATION". This also includes, changing lanes, in both right and left turns, driving in the passing lane, although a sign states to "DRIVE IN RIGHT LANE EXCEPT TO PASS".

No fast rule, huh?

Another matter is, that people seem to think that, turning on a signal light, for a lane change, gives them the right away, and they cut off whatever traffic that may be in their way

Section 151 (a) is pretty damn specific.

Sometimes I'm glad I drive a white three ton van.  Highly visible, and folks tend to think twice before cutting in front of you agressively.

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