Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving Statistics - What to Believe?

Stop Distracted DrivingI received an interesting fact sheet from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) this week. It looks at distracted driving related fatal collisions in Canada from 2000 to 2015. In some Canadian provinces this type of fatality has surpassed the total caused by alcohol impaired driving. However, that's not the part of the document that made me pause.

DASHCAM - Distracted Cycling

Here's an image of a cyclist caught on dashcam riding along Garden City Road between Westminster Highway and Granville Avenue in Richmond, B.C. He is riding the wrong way, without a helmet, failing to keep at least one hand on the handlebars and appears to be texting on a cell phone. Four separate Motor Vehicle Act violations!

CASE LAW - R v Tannhauser

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is the case of the cell phone app that helped a driver beat a traffic ticket for using a cellular phone while driving. Patrick Tannhauser was driving on the Trans Canada Highway approaching the Helmcken overpass in View Royal. He was stuck in what is known locally as the "Colwood Crawl" at 8:35 am. Mr. Tannhauser was holding his company issued cell phone at the top of the steering wheel.

CASE LAW - Winthrope v Superintendent of Motor Vehicles

BC Courts Coat of ArmsMarika Winthrope obtained her class 7 novice driver's licence in 2012. Due to the cost, she never attempted to obtain her full class 5 licence. In 2015 she received a speeding ticket and what the court surmised was a one month prohibition resulting from it in 2016.

CASE LAW - R v Bainbridge

BC Courts Coat of ArmsJudicial Justice Burgess examines the definition of "use" as it applies to the use of electronic devices while driving.

RESEARCH - The Battle for Attention

IAM LogoThe Institute of Advanced Motorists is a UK charity dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. This 24 page report summarises recent research and knowledge from scientific studies about distracted driving. It also defines what it means to be ‘distracted’ when driving, discusses the impact of distraction on driver behaviour and safety, and what can be done to reduce distracted driving.

Restorative Justice: An Alternative to the Traffic Ticket

Scales of JusticeQuite some time ago I wrote about an initiative to trade your ticket for driver training. I was very pleased with the outcome of the one instance that I tried on my own, but the program never took off as the provincial government required the RCMP to provide it to all drivers if it was implemented. The Victoria Police Department is trying something similar through Restorative Justice Victoria.

It's Been a Busy Week

Exclamation Mark SignIt’s been a busy week in B.C. for road safety related announcements by our provincial government. ICBC announced a distracted driving technology pilot project, dangerous drivers may expect to be subject to longer periods of driving prohibition, the CounterAttack program turns 40 years old and the investigation of cognitively impaired drivers will no longer include DriveABLE testing.

I Want My Car Simple Again

Space Shuttle Cockpit ViewToday's high tech cars have centre console mounted displays that allow anyone (including the driver) to play around with while in motion; should be against the law. Some cars even need to have the driver touch a screen to change the radio volume or station; a dangerous practice. Older car radios you can FEEL the knobs without taking your eyes off the road. I think vehicles are going the wrong direction these days with their gadgetry.

It Looked Like a Drunk Driver to Me

Dog in CarI was driving home from a family event at about 9:30 pm on a recent Sunday night using the Island Highway. The vehicle in front of me drew my attention as it strayed to the right, half way onto the shoulder. We were traveling at about 85 km/h in the posted 90 zone. After a moment the driver resumed the proper lane position but soon drifted off to the right. The direction of the drift did not depend on the curvature of the roadway.

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