Government

Information relating to the government and traffic laws.

Penalty Points and How They Affect You

Ticket WriterI’ve always understood penalty points to be a kind of score keeping method to assign a level of risk to the breach of a traffic rule. The more dangerous the violation, the more penalty points that would be assigned to a driving conviction. Rack up too many points in a set period of time and you would have to pay ICBC premiums and risk a driving prohibition from RoadSafetyBC. Regardless of the fact that penalty points have been a part of driving in BC for many years, they are generally poorly understood.

Slow Down, Breathe Easier

ExhaustI’m in a world of mixed messages. Some are real, some are emotional, some are false and some come from the government. The one that I would like to tackle here might be a bit odd for DriveSmartBC but the consequences could be related back to safety. I’m thinking about travel speed and fuel economy because the faster you go, the more it costs, probably in more ways than one.

The Not-So-Professional Driver

Truck Tractor and TrailerI'm one of those odd drivers who tries their best to drive at or below the posted speed limit. I include the word below here as sometimes there is a need to slow down to less than the posted speed limit for safety reasons. This often has consequences for me when I have to share the road with other drivers who do not subscribe to my philosophy on road safety. A good example of this is looking in my rear view mirror and finding the Volvo logo on the grille of a heavy transport truck following me closely enough that I could count the bugs stuck to it.

OPINION - Politics and Road Safety

SoapboxThis has been an interesting week for road safety. The Provincial Health Officer has released a report, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Reducing the Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes on Health and Well-being in BC, that suggests lower speed limits in residential areas and the return of automated speed enforcement as a means of reducing injury and death on our roads. Tom Fletcher is the legislative reporter for the Black Press in Victoria. He quotes Minister Todd Stone's response to the report:

"We believe there are more effective technologies that can be employed, and frankly a better way to utilize precious police resources than to resurrect what was largely a failed photo radar program that was nothing more than a tax grab for British Columbians,"

NEWS - Electric Vehicles in HOV Lanes

HOV DecalEffective March 1, 2016 qualifying hybrid and electric vehicles with a permit and displaying an approval decal will be able to use HOV lanes on BC highways even when the required number of passengers is not met unless a sign is posted stating otherwise.

NEWS - Moving to Vision Zero

BC LogoOur provincial government has announced an update of the Road Safety Strategy 2015 to adopt a Vision Zero approach to road safety using a Safe Systems model. This means "that road safety developments must account for the inevitability of human error, limitations of the human body in withstanding force, and the responsibility of road and vehicle designers, policy makers and road users for road safety." The report acknowledges that the top three human contribution factors to road deaths and serious injury are speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving.

Car Jail for the Vehicles of Careless Smokers

Vehicle ImpoundWe're facing one of the more serious forest fire seasons that British Columbia has seen in recent memory. Many of these fires are caused by human activity with one of the common activities being the careless disposal of cigarette butts. The provincial government has proposed that when the careless disposal occurs from within a motor vehicle, the vehicle should be impounded for a period of time. Will this idea die a quiet death or if the pace of new fires continues, do you think this is a good solution?

E Ticketing and Ticket Dispute Adjudication

Question MarkThere was a brief flurry in the media a couple of weeks ago about the implementation of electronic traffic tickets and dispute adjudication replacing traffic court. I had not heard anything about this from the provincial government after the publication of the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act to allow the changes in 2012. Being curious, I traded e-mails with the Public Affairs office of the Ministry of Justice to see if I could learn more.

NEWS - Changes to Imported Vehicle Inspection Rules

BC FlagEffective April 1, 2015, certain privately owned vehicles will no longer have to undergo a mandatory mechanical inspection prior to be licenced by ICBC. Under the New West Partnership Agreement, vehicles imported into BC from Alberta and Saskatchewan meeting the following conditions:

NEW LAW - Motor Vehicle Amendment Act Bill 15 - 2015

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe Motor Vehicle Amendment Act Bill 15 - 2015 has passed First Reading in the legislature. Highlights of the proposed legislation include:

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