VIEWPOINT - Don't Wave, Drive!

SoapboxSome of the most dangerous drivers on the road recently are those that are trying to be polite by waving a second driver to go when that second driver doesn't have the right of way. Drivers should just drive to the rules of the road, its safer and keeps the traffic moving in an orderly fashion.

Unfortunately I think your current advertising, the hand waving thing, encourages the 'polite' rather than the 'correct' way to drive. Polite drivers also encourage aggressive drivers that are always trying to sneak ahead when its not their turn. These bullying drivers are depending on the polite drivers to enable their bad driving habits.

Folks should be encouraged to stick to the rules of the road. It's better for everybody.


Sorry, DriveSmartBC is NOT ICBC!

Please see the About DriveSmartBC page for more information!

This is a commercial produced by ICBC asking other drivers who have been treated well by other drivers to give a wave of thanks. It is an attempt to promote courtesy among drivers, not a demonstration of giving driving directions to another driver by waving.

In fact, waving instructions at another driver could involve you in legal liability if they obey and are involved in a crash because of it. I agree with you there, don't wave driving instructions, just be safe in following the rules of the road as you advise.

Submitted by E-Mail

You indicated that if a driver were to wave another driver through, ie, the "go ahead" wave, and something untoward were to happen, that the signalling driver could or would be responsible.

My question to you, then, is this: if I were to stop at a point in the road where a pedestrian was waiting to cross, and eye contact is made, and I indicate to the pedestrian to "go ahead", would I be liable if something went horribly wrong?

I usually keep an eye on other traffic approaching the scene, and if I see or sense some idiot that may not stop, I make it known to the pedestrian, either with the horn or a shout. However, what if I miss something and the pedestrian is involved in an accident? Should I just stop for the pedestrian and let them make their own choice?

Hmmm, I think I just answered my own question. It now seems that this is the prudent way to proceed. But still, would I or could I be liable if something happened?

Decided by the Courts

Being liable for something that happens is up to the courts in a civil matter like this. It is possible to be held liable for giving directions in this manner but I cannot say definitely what the court would do. That would be up to the justice presiding and the circumstances of the incident.

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