Staying On Your Side of the Road

Cutting the CornerI live beside a road where I can watch an "S" curve out of my window where visibility is limited due to vegetation on both sides. I don't have to watch for long before a see a driver who straightens out the S by driving more or less in a straight line through the corners.

There was a near miss last week where a pickup driver had to slam on his brakes to avoid an oncoming minivan. By the time that driver got to the mailboxes and stopped he was fuming. Apparently this kind of behaviour in our neighbourhood is epidemic. He says it is not uncommon to meet vehicles on the wrong side of the road after they ignore the stop sign and fail to make a right turn into the correct lane too.

It doesn't matter that there are no lines painted on the pavement at this spot, a driver is still required to confine the path of their vehicle to the right hand half of the roadway.

The concept of roadway is important here. It is the part of the highway where vehicles are meant to be driven and does not include the shoulder. So, it is also possible to fail to stay on your side by being too far to the right as well.

Lines are helpful, but they too are often ignored as evidenced by the uneven wear of the center line in another nearby section of winding road near my neighbourhood. I've met drivers there who are crowding the double solid yellow or are completely onto my side of it.

Why are these drivers so poor at maintaining proper lane position? Surely everyone must realize that keeping to your lane has to be one of the most important rules of driving! Just because you don't want to slow down or are too lazy to steer properly doesn't mean that you are entitled to use some of my side of the highway.

Another common sight are neighbours who are too lazy to stop on the right side of the road and walk across to pick up their mail. They drive right up to the community mailboxes, roll down the driver's window and open their mailbox.

You must not stop, stand or park anywhere other than on the right side of the roadway. When you do, you must be parallel to and within 30 cm of the curb if there is one.

If you maintain proper lane position then you have a safety buffer around your vehicle that allows you to take avoidance action if something untoward should occur. Consider what might happen if you meet another driver that drives the same way you do.

There are no exemptions that grant a driver permission to disobey the keeping to the right rule based on convenience.

Reference Link:


Cutting corners

...a slightly differenct observation, but similar:

Even if you're on a highway/freeway, with your "choice" of lanes to travel in around a corner, try to maintain your position in your own lane unless you're absolutely sure that you can change lanes safely.  If you're travelling fast enough such that you feel the need to straddle hatched lines around corners to "straighten out the road", things can go badly quickly should there be another vehicle trying to occupy the same space as you.

I've been communting over the "new" Highway 17 (Hwy 99 exit 26 to the Tsawwassen ferries) for the last few days and with all of the corners and elevation changes on this road there are going to be side-swipes galore if people aren't careful.  The "ferry traffic" folk are used to a straight piece of road and speeds of 140kph, and now they're going to have to learn that those types of speeds on this new piece of winding highway are probably not the best idea.

Cutting Corners

I think the local constabularys should run regular blitzes to target, ticket, ticket and ticket them again until those types of drivers either get the message or lose their licence. And yes it is an epidemic in my area as well.(a semi rural area just north of Victoria on the Island)

Also too many drivers park on the shoulder, literally right on the crest of a steep hill where you are blind to oncoming traffic. You are sometimes forced to move dangerously close to the center line to get around them. They're either completely clueless and or too lazy to park a little futher down the road and maybe walk a 100 fett or so!

Cutting Corners

This type of behavior seems to be very common these days. It also can be quite deadly if you're riding a motorcycle! Last summer, I was riding my full sized Harley Davidson motorcycle with the headlight and two driving lights on. I was forced onto the paved shoulder on a corner buy a car completely straddling the centre line coming the other way. It rattled me so bad that I turned around and followed him to his destination a few blocks away. I asked him if he was even aware of what he had done and how close he came to hitting me. He replied that he had seen me coming but because I was riding a motorcycle he felt I had lots of room to get out of his way. He also stated that he felt that the lines on the roadways were just a guidline.  Needless to say the conversation degraded from there! A very stupid and dangerous habit indeed!

An Exception...

... to this rule is, while travelling on one of our many logging and other haul roads, that loaded heavy vehicles have absolute right of way. There is significant risk to a heavily-loaded transport when not travelling on the crown of a haul road. All travellers on these remote roads should be advised of haul road etiquette, and carefully read and understand all posted warnings, before proceeding.

Not True

In fact, Section 150 MVA which requires you to confine your vehicle to the right hand half of the roadway also applies to forest service roads.

Old School on this one

All traffic on a industrial road should be equipped with a radio and call their klicks. Know the procedures of the road it could be in, out, loaded empty, north,south etc. Loaded and emergency vehicles have priority no matter which direction they are going. For instance a loaded vehicle going the same direction of an emergency vehicles pulls over stops and lets ememgency vehicle pass. Dust or blowing snow does obscures anything behind you.

Section 150 (1) (e)  (ii) should cover pulling to the opposite side of the road. Then you announce you are clear at 150.5 on your side. On industrial roads you pull over where it is safest not what some section of a MVA says.

Vehicle location on road

What I see is people pulling trailers that do not know the width of the trailer. They are travelling down a straight stretch of road with the trailer either running on the centre line or over. Is you sight down the side of the trailer you cannot see any mirrors so you know the driver does not see what is behind him. These are safety items that should have been corrected before they pulled the trailer off the lot.

Now I will pull my soap box out and give my usual rant. If we are really interested in reducing accidents on the roads forget about speeder and start enforcing some of the other sections of the MVA. In the sample in the article the cops waste time ticketing speeders, cell phone usuage, seat belts, why not do something worthwhile for a change and have an officer standing on the corner and pulling vehicles over for crossing the centre line?

Imperial Drive in Vancouver

 There's a sharp curve on Imperial Drive as it becomes West 29th Avenue in Vancouver; it is crossed by pedestrians and cyclists that use Top and Imperial trails in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, and West King Edward Place T-intersects with West 29th Avenue next to the curve

Drivers often use a significant portion of the oncoming lane as they drive southbound on Imperial Drive to eastbound on West 29th Avenue.  The last resurfacing of (most of) Imperial Drive paved over what was a double solid yellow line, the new paint is a (temporary?)  dashed yellow center line, and later a solid yellow line and reflectors were added next to (and partly on top of a portion of) the dashed line,  with the solid on the southbound side. It's been a while since I've driven (and many years since I've ridden a motorcycle) through it, but I don't think I could do the speed suggested by the yellow 20km/hr sign (Imperial Drive has a limit of 50 km/hr) and stay in the lane.  I don't have a speedometer on my bicycle but I might be able to ride it at 20 km/hr if I used the full width of the lane (but there is a risk of gravel being spread onto the road from the park trails).  I make a point of trying to "take the lane" before the curve when southbound on my bicycle, because the concrete Jersey barriers have several scrapes and tire rubber deposits on them from motor vehicles.   Two months ago I had a close call with a SUV, and I posted the following:

Type: Near collision with moving object or vehicle

Incident with: Vehicle, passing

Date: 18 Mar, 2020 5:00 PM

Incident ID: 9600

Details: Southbound just before and through the very tight curve/corner, the SUV driver passed me (on a bicycle) by taking up most of the oncoming traffic lane, neither of us were traveling slowly. If there had been traffic from West King Edward Place or 29th Avenue there would very likely have been a collision as visibility is very poor. There were plastic bollards on the centerline of the curve a few years ago but they didn't last long and were not replaced.

When I am bicycling westbound towards the curve there is yellow 20 km/hr sign and a 30 km/hr limit (and no center line),  I avoid sharing the lane through the curve with a motor-vehicle by letting it go ahead of me, then I stay close to the curb except to avoid a storm drain grate that has its slots oriented almost parallel with the track of my bicycle tire.   

The COV's 2019 Cycling Map & Guide shows W 29th Avenue and Imperial Drive as a Local Street Bikeway.

Some more info and stats.

It would be nice to have:

15 (or 10?) km/hr warning signs for the curve,

the missing plastic bollards replaced,

the center line painted double solid yellow,

painted lines to warn of the soft shoulder on one side and the ditch on the other,

the speed limit on Imperial Drive lowered to 30 km/hr as there is at least one blind hill on the road and a couple places where people park vehicles on the shoulder to access the park (or to sleep in them overnight), but I don't expect lighting to be added.

I requested some of these items back in 2013, before it was resurfaced; I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask again.

Image sourcing?

I have to smile, when I look at the image of the car cutting the corner at top left.

It's nuts. Firstly, on this continent we use yellow lines to separate traffic moving in opposite directions. Secondly, no traffic engineer (one hopes) would run a dotted centre line (of any colour) through a blind curve ... not even in the UK, where the centre line would in fact be white.

The Article Hit Home

I was on my way to Courtney from Campbell River, the old highway. A few months ago. I was following a school bus, doing the speed limit. My position was such I could not see what was coming from Courtney. I must have been at least, about 70 ft behind the bus. A white pickup came past the bus and swerved into my lane. I swerved towards the fog line. Both my truck and his have large mirrors. Our mirrors met, with a loud noise. He swerved back into his lane. I believe we were both doing the speed limit, I was. I now have a white mark on the tip of my left mirror as a reminder. I think the other driver was on his phone. That white mark is a reminder, and as close as I want to come, while at speed.

Death Wish

I live in an area that is accessed by winding narrow, road and is extremely popular with the motorcyclists and many others that use it to test their skills.It amazes me the amount of times I come around a corner and someone is in my lane. Everyone seems to feel you will just get out of their way. The video is of todays daredevil:

It Is A Danger

We share a community mailbox with a neighbour who regularly exits Village Way turning onto Nootka Rd then swerves onto Chester Rd, parking in front of the mailboxes to gather his mail. Having been nearly struck by his car while I was riding my bicycle toward the mailbox I started noticing his poor driving habits. Scary!

Google Ads