What I've Learned From Running This Web Site

New Driver SignsThe DriveSmartBC web site has been in existence for just over nine years now. It has been and continues to be a very interesting hobby for me. I thought that this week I would review a few of the things that I have learned from being a road safety webmaster.

I hate to admit it, but I make mistakes. Thank goodness few of them survive the editing process but some saves have come very close to the click of the publish button. The last article concerning roundabouts owes one correction to Paul who watched it in the process of being written and telephoned me about it before I was done. Thanks to all of my editors!

We all think that we are driving experts. I regularly receive e-mail suggesting that I write an article to tell drivers that they cannot or must (insert topic of choice). Most are right on, but some are partly or totally incorrect.

Discussions among adults on a web site occasionally deteriorate to the debating style of Ralph Kramden. I know I'm dating myself when I say that but some of the back and forth proceeded to the point where it looked like he who shouts loudest wins. Oddly, it seems to be the male drivers involved in these on line contests.

Everyone knows (insert your assertion here). I work hard to find good examples to link to in my articles and hope that they are not unconsciously biased. It can be very interesting to see what results when I ask a commenter to back up their observations with a link. Sometimes I learn from it and sometimes they learn from it. Either way, we both benefit.

People will tell you all sorts of things that you should not know. DriveSmartBC appears to occasionally be mistaken for a web site run by either the provincial government or ICBC. E-mails sent to me in the past have contained some combination of a full name, address, birthdate and driver's licence number along with a request to take some action for the person. Please be careful people, someone dishonest can do bad things with this information!

If something is not done about a situation, the resulting crash will kill someone. There, I've said my piece and it's now in your hands to solve the problem. Don't expect me to do anything else. This can be very frustrating for me because I am willing to put in time to help them take action to make improvements and sometimes do before I find out that they really want someone else to do it for them.

ICBC is always accommodating when I ask for data or advice. I can also say that the response usually arrives in my inbox promptly. When it does not, there is a good reason why not.

Dealing with the provincial government can be hit or miss. If you know the right person to ask, anything is possible. Some e-mail requests disappear forever, never to be heard from again. Occasionally a response bears very little connection to the question that was asked. A follow up request may be met with the same answer repeated over again or no response at all. Ditto for municipal governments.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge some very good people that I have met along the way. Dan and Paul are driving instructors who volunteer their time to discuss road safety and provided their free time to give check out drives to a couple of lucky newsletter subscribers. Steve at Wallace Driving School did the same. Mike at Quickscribe Services provided an account to keep track of legislation changes with and Paul Hergott contributes counsel and writing examples to follow.

Thank you to everyone, especially those of you who take the time to read my efforts each week!

 

Comments

Keep up the good work!

I've been driving since 1971, and I've recommended this website as an information source since I first came across it.

It's getting cold out there, tough on wipers and tires. How's yours, eh? 

Thanks!

The winter tires just went on and they are in good condition. Probably need to replace the wipers though...

Wipers & Windshields, and so ...

I sometimes check out Dashcam Videos on YouTube, just to see what remarkable incidents have been recorded, around the world. (I'm never driving into a tunnel in Moscow during the wintertime ... ).

All kidding aside, it's kind of horrifying to see how frequently the vision is terrible, in wet conditions, through the drivers' windshield.

But replacement isn't always necessary. Whether a vehicle is kept in a garage, and whereabouts it lives in the province, makes a huge difference in terms of how long the rubber will last. But so does maintaining the wipers, along with keeping that windshield properly clean - outside and in.

It's worth using some good glass cleaner, even after the car just got washed, to help your vision. And never more important than at this time of year, as conditions worsen. But if you look at all those vehicles around you with defective headlights, stop lights, and turn signals ... then I bet there's many more 'drivers' out there who haven't ever done anything to maintain a vehicle in their lifetime. 

It's always best to see clearly, now

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