BC Bad Driver of the Week - 971JPV

One does not need to do anything overtly dangerous to be considered a bad driver. Simple thoughtlessness or failing to consider other road users can create a hazardous situation as well. This driver decided to stop in the center of his lane, leave his door open and tie his shoe. Everyone else was welcome to drive around him.

 
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Comments

Just like 'Failing to Yield' or 'Reversing when Unsafe' ...

... that's worthy of a 2-point ticket.

Unfortunately, I don't believe they usually get written up unless some sort of incident or accident is the consequence.

The people who make me shake my head are the parents who cheerfully load/unload their little kids on the left side of the car when parked at the side of the road - often as not when there is a fair amount of traffic passing closely by!  Ludicrous, and dangerous; a poor example for the kids to learn from, and negligence on the part of the parent who should be prioritizing the protection of their children instead of increasing their risk.
 

What is Reasonable?

I don't see the situation in the video as a dangerous or illegal situation.  The driver is parked correctly at the right edge of the road.  While the MVA notes a door should only be open for a sufficient time to load and/or unload passengers, it obviously infers the appropriate time to load and/or unload objects.  The vehicle is positioned appropriately just foward of the post-box area, so that it is not parked over the gravel area intended for pedestrian access to the mail boxes.  The supposition that the individual is "carelessly" tying his shoe is speculative. He may have been placing his mail in the car, he may have been checking his seatbelt or adjusting a floor mat, or he may have arthritis and was using the elevated floor to assist in tying a dangling shoelace.  Given the obviously low traffic nature of the area, the residential nature, clear sight lines, good road conditions, and obviously plenty of room for vehicles to safely pass on the left - I dissagree that the video represents a bad driver or a contravention of the MVA.  

Are we watching the same video?

Because I respectfully disagree with some of your statements.

While the driver is parked 'correctly' per Section 190 of the MVA, he is arguably in contravention of Section 187(2).  In this situation, he would have been wise to park with a couple of wheels on the gravel shoulder in order to reduce the chance of obstructing traffic; there isn't a pedestrian in sight trying to use it as a sidewalk.

And Section 203 commences with this, which you seem to have chosen to ignore: 

When opening door prohibited

203  (1) A person must not open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.

And while the traffic volume in that area may be low, that doesn't mean it's non-existent.  There could easily have been an oncoming vehicle arriving at the same time as our camera car, which was forced to use the opposite side of the road by the actions of the other driver.  Plus which, although the road conditions were good, the initial sightline from our camera car is limited as he is parked near the crest of a small hill.

So in my opinion, he could have positioned his vehicle better, and he could have positioned himself better when tying his shoe; his actions were thoughtless and inconsiderate of other road users.

 

Are We Searching for Anything to Video for the Web Site?

There is no shoulder for the driver to pull over onto.  The only "shoulder" area is that obviously designated to access the mail boxes.  The driver is parked as close to the edge of the road as reasonably possible.  My reference to "pedestrian" was with respect to other homeowners who may also have wished to access their mail box.  If the driver had parked on the gravel area in front of the mail box he would be blocking their access.

As for the suggestion that I chose to ignore Section 203, I'll point out the obvious:  the driver was not opening the door.  The door had already been safely opened before the camera car turned the corner.  The subject vehicle was parked in a location along the stretch of road to be highly visible to traffic coming up or down the hill.  The road is clearly wide enough for considerate oncoming drivers to easily and safely pass the parked car, even with the door open.  Drivers in residential neighborhoods commonly give wide berth to pedestrians, cyclists, parked cars, etc., passing on the left side of the road, under similar circumstances.  The video clearly shows the driver of the camera car had a good sightline for vehicles coming down the hill.  If not, I suggest the driver of the camera car would have been the poor driver, passing in an unsafe manner.

While I am sure there are many opinions as to whether or how the driver could have positioned his vehicle better, his positioning was essentially dictated by the design and use of the mail box area and was reasonable for the circumstances.  I acknowledge the driver was not concerned, or perhaps aware, that the open door was impeding the camera car progress up the hill and causing the driver to be anxious about passing, and he could have improved the situation by closing the vehicle door to better allow the camera car to pass, but his actions were not in contravention of the MVA as suggested - although they may have been inconsiderate of other road users.

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