Equipment

Information on specific vehicle equipment.

To See, or Not To See - Tinted Windows

tinted side windowsOne of my preferred enforcement practices was to use an unmarked car and drive in the right hand lane at or just under the speed limit. This gave me plenty of time to look at and into whatever passed by on my left. Vehicle defects, failing to wear a seatbelt, distracted driving and other things of interest to a traffic cop were often easily discovered.

Fog Lamps

Fog LightsMy article on driving lights led to a number of requests to write a follow up article on fog lights. The original question involved vehicles that were driving with four lights on all the time and two of them were not being dimmed for oncoming traffic. Many readers were aware that the extra two lights were fog lights and not driving lights.

Be Prepared for Trouble!

Safety TrianglesI remember putting chains on my father's tow truck and plowing snow with the front bumper at 30 mph to go and drag a hapless motorist back onto the highway. I also remember my time in northern BC where one didn't leave the driveway without a shovel, tow rope, extra winter clothing, tools and a collection of small spare parts at this time of year. Are you really ready for your next trip in winter conditions?

Lack of Mufflers

Automobile MufflerThere sometimes seem to be two types of people when it comes to the sounds emitted by vehicle exhaust systems: those who hate it and those who try to balance calling attention to themselves yet not provoke a response from traffic law enforcement.

Those Blinding Blue Headlights

HID HeadlightsOne of the more frequent vehicle equipment complaints that I receive is about headlight glare. I am told that they are horrendous to an oncoming driver and it is hazardous to be driving because they are blinding. Drivers want to take their eyes off the road or look to the side to avoid them. Are they legal?

Winter Tires

Winter Tire SymbolOutside temperatures have dipped below 7 degrees, so it's time to consider installing your winter tires if you use them. Residents in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island might be able to get away with good all season or all weather tires if they stick close to home, but vehicles being driven in the rest of the province really should be equipped with true winter tires.

Headlamps 101

HID HeadlightsLong winter nights mean we spend more time driving while using our headlamps. All headlamps are not created equal however, so some vehicles are safer to drive at night than others.

Check Your Lights

HID HeadlightsThe next time you get into your vehicle, start it up, set the parking brake, turn on all of the lights and the hazard flashers. Walk around your vehicle and check all the lights. Are they all lit as they should be, and are the lenses clean, intact and still the right colour? If so, you are good to go from the standpoint of lights at least.

Trouble After a Vehicle Purchase

raised pickup truckThis inquiry arrived in the DriveSmartBC inbox last Thursday: "I bought a used newer truck from a dealership and was told prior to signing the final documents that the truck had gone through a full safety inspection. Less than two weeks later I was pulled over and issued a ticket for improperly equipped motor vehicle and issued a box 2 inspection order for my 2017 Dodge Ram 3500."

Glaring Fog Lamps

glaring fog lampsOne of the most common complaints I hear that is not about a moving violation concerns the use or misuse of lights on vehicles. Here is one of them: "What is really starting to annoy myself and many others is people driving with their fog lights on during clear nights or even during the day. Is this not an infraction? These lamps are often unreasonably bright."

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