Ten Questions and Ten Answers

e-mail iconIt's time to deal with all the questions in the DriveSmartBC inbox that have not prompted an article of their own. Here are 10 of them, one of which initially stumped me too. I guess that goes to show that no matter how long you have been a licensed driver, there is still something that you can learn!

Michelle would like to remind drivers that there is a good reason that they must not park in front of crosswalks. She says that it should be obvious that children are short and can easily be hidden behind a parked vehicle where approaching drivers cannot see them. If we educate drivers about the 6 meter distance, they will understand and stop parking too close.

Dax wants road users to make way for ambulances that display flashing red and white lights but are not using their sirens. While the law does not require it, this is another case where the minor inconvenience involved will benefit the people in need of  medical assistance. Why not yield?

Jeff wonders about a vehicle with Texas licence plates that is regularly parked on his residential street for the past 2 years. Should he report it to the police? The police do enforce the Customs Act and may be interested but I think that I would start with the Canadian Border Services Agency instead. Their Border Watch Line is interested in any suspicious cross border activities.

Clive wants to know if he can pull the sidecar of his motorcycle rather than attaching it to run along side. A sidecar is specifically exempt from being called a trailer and requiring a separate licence plate and insurance. If you pull it behind it is no longer a sidecar and would be considered to be a trailer.

Paul's wife is undergoing chemotherapy and he wants to keep his outside contacts to a minimum to protect her. His B.C. driver's licence is expiring and he wonders if he can just use his Mexican driver's licence instead of going to the driver service center to renew. If Paul is ordinarily resident in B.C. he must have a B.C. driver's licence. When he applies for it, he is required to surrender any driver's licence that he holds from another jurisdiction.

Dave was messing around with the guages on his 'Vette and failed to note that he had changed his speedometer to read in mph instead of km/h. You guessed it, he was ticketed for driving at 159 km/h and the 'Vette was impounded. He wanted to know if he explained the inadvertent change to the traffic court justice, could he have the excessive speed charge set aside? Sorry Dave...

Melody was riding in a group of 4 motorcycles. If they all stopped side by side at the stop line in one lane, could they all leave the stop sign at the same time when it was safe to go? In B.C. it is not legal to operate more than two motorcycles side by side in a lane unless they are passing, so there should never be 4 motorcycles side by side in the same lane at a stop sign.

Will raised a concern that taught me something. He showed a picture of a highway marked with a sign that said No Lane Change for the Next 2 Kilometers yet the roadway was marked with a single broken white line. The direction on the sign overrides the permission indicated by the broken line.

Lisa literally ran afoul of a low mounted bicycle carrier on the rear of a pickup truck while trying to enter the parking space behind it. She did not think she should be found at fault for the collision because the carrier was sticking back into the parking space that she wanted to use. The carrier was there to be seen. If your vehicle does not fit in the space, you will have to find another space.

Curt wants to know if a passenger can be charged for using a mobile device while in a moving vehicle. Our distracted driving rules only apply to the driver so the passenger need only worry if the mobile device somehow interfered with the driver. Even then I've investigated a collision where the passenger yanked the steering wheel causing the driver to lose control and the Crown refused to proceed with charges.

Do you have a question that you would like answered? Send me an e-mail and I'll add it to the queue.


Questions on Questions

Will's Question.  I have noticed the same thing on the highways. It is not a temporary sign as they have been there for over 10 years. To avoid confusion why not just have a solid line? There is also no sign indicating you have left the zone. So you are expected to check your mileage and wait for the distance to go by. Has always struck me as absurd.

Lisa's Question.  In some cities they have reduced the length of parking spaces so that a crew cab pick-up with an 8' box will not fit in the space. Going on the answer given if a vehicles overall length exceeds the length of the parking space I should not park there? There is also regulations on the permitted overhang beyond the bumper of the vehicle. Going by memory and I really wish when they wrote the MVA they didn't use soft conversions of Imperial but used realistic metric that you cannot extend more than 120cm behind the bumper or rear lights. I have seen bicycle racks that have to be pushing that. I noted one vehicle with a reflector on the end of the bicycle rack.

Not saying this absolves one if you hit it as you should know where your vehicle extremities are at all times. Just questioning whether the driver of the pick-up should have been charged with something.

Going a bit further and reflecting on last weeks Newsletter how come these bike racks are permitted when they obscure the back licence plate? Shouldn't the driver be charged?

Answers on Answers

In this case, the engineer that I inquired with to learn about the sign said that he would have the line painting crew revisit that segment of highway.

Private property parking spaces are not as regulated as on street parking. In a mall it is quite common to have long vehicles take up two parking spaces. Bylaws may prohibit and pay parking will want two paid spaces so beware there.

Bike racks that obscure licence plates and lights are not permitted.


If Dave in his Corvette can't tell the difference between 99 mph and 100 km/hr without the aid of a speedo, maybe he should be sidelined for more than a week.


Paul should be able to phone ICBC to temporarily renew his licence for another 90 days. And if he explains the situation they may extend again down the line.

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