Information regarding topics that don't fit in established categories.

Why is the Highway Designed That Way?

Surveyor Ahead Warning SignDo you ever wonder why some aspect of the highway that you are driving on has been designed that way?  It starts with the Transportation Association of Canada's Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads, is supplemented by the Geometric Design Guidelines for B.C. Roads, may require compromise due to local conditions and ends up being what you see through your windshield.

When and How to Use High Beam Headlights

headlightsOur provincial driving guide, Learn to Drive Smart, says the following about using your high beam headlights: "Use the high beam setting only on unlit roads at night when there aren’t any vehicles approaching or in front of you." The companion Tuning Up For Drivers adds "Your high beams help you see further, but remember to dim them when another vehicle approaches (before the other driver’s high beams start to bother you)."

SURVEY - Interactions Between Self-driving Vehicles and Pedestrians

university of BC logoHow will non-automated road users (pedestrians, cyclists and conventional vehicle drivers) interact with automated vehicles in real world settings? Dr. Alex Bigazzi, Dr. Jordi Honey-Rosés and their research team at the University of British Columbia (UBC) are investigating this question and request your help.

VIDEO - Stroads

VideoAccording to Charles Marohn, municipal engineer and planner, a stroad is a bad combination of two types of vehicular pathways: part street and part road.  He defines a stroad as a high-speed road with many turnoffs which lacks safety features and says that they are common in the United States and Canada.

Highway Closures

Road Closed Ahead SignWe have come to expect that our highways will always be open to us to use at any time under all conditions. When something occurs, such as a serious collision, some drivers still think that their convenience takes priority over all other issues and the highway should not be closed to them.

HISTORY - Highway 3 Near Greenwood

BC LogoThis shot is from the B.C. Archives and is of Highway 3 near Greenwood, taken in the 1950s. It shows how much our major hightways have improved since then. The lanes may be the same width, but the shoulders are improved and marked with solid white lines. The white center line is now yellow and likely is not a single broken line here today. Concrete guard rail replaces the old post and steel beam that often penetrated the passenger compartment in a collision.

RESEARCH - LED Street Lighting

LED Street Light FixtureLED street lighting is controversial where I live. When BC Hydro upgraded some sections of the Town of Qualicum Beach the complaints started. For the most part they were about the new lights being too bright. There were many references in the media to colour temperature but none to the number of lumens that these lights were actually producing.

Preparing for Motorized Personal Mobility Devices

Motor Assisted CycleBritish Columbia's view of what consists of acceptable methods of transportation on our roads had changed considerably since I started policing in the 1980's. Back then, cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and feet were pretty much all that was allowed. Devices like rollerblades, skateboards, motorized bicycles and scooters were either strictly controlled or forbidden completely.

Load Security

No Load SecurityA reader asks about an incident where a ladder had fallen off a truck traveling on the highway. The driver following behind the truck took evasive action that resulted in a collision. This question raises many important issues including hazard avoidance, duty at a collision and load securement.

IIHS - Safe Vehicles for Teens

IIHS LogoI spoke with a father once about his teen's vehicle. I had inspected it at roadside and because of various defects I had issued it a Notice & Order #2. The father was trying to convince me to withdraw the order because he knew that the vehicle would not pass inspection and it would be too expensive to repair.

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