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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 07-22-2010, 09:46 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Self Preservation

Twenty years of traffic policing has left me wondering if today is the day that another driver will involve me in a crash. I seem to be asking myself this more and more often as I observe the behaviour of other drivers around me. Driving is probably the largest risk that I take in my life right now.

It occurred to me today that I have spent much of my time teaching others about the traffic rules here in my column. This is good knowledge to have as it will allow you to predict what other drivers will do as long as they follow these rules. However, what protection does knowing the rules provide when the other driver doesn't follow them?

I've probably mentioned defensive driving from time to time, but I don't think that I have written about it in any depth. I should have, because this provides the skills and knowledge necessary for your own self preservation when you travel the highways of our province. A little time invested learning here may pay big personal dividends one day.

It seems appropriate to finish by mentioning one of the five keys from the Smith System of defensive driving taught to me during basic training in Depot: Get the Big Picture! Fewer mistakes are made when you have the complete traffic picture around your vehicle.

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Old 07-23-2010, 09:29 AM   #2
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Observation is definately very important.

It's one thing to expect that another driver will follow the rules, but a good defensive driver will also make adjustments to minimize the chance of a collision should another driver fail to follow the rule.

One example of this that I see every day is drivers who fail to turn into the correct lane at an intersection. I generally prepare for this if I see someone wanting to make a turn by slowing down as I approach the intersection and if possible move over a lane to increase the space around my vehicle.

If I am making the turn, I will not do so if there is traffic flowing in the direction that I am turning into. I have seen far too many people make lane changes in or immediately after intersections.

Knowing how other drivers routinely break the rules and using that information appropriately gives the defensive driver another layer of protection.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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I live in Kelowna which means I'm surrounded by idiots on the road. During the summer season there is typically at least one accident every day within the city. There have been a number of fatalities on the highways in the valley, many caused by one car simply crossing over the center line and hitting someone else head on. How is it you do this? Were you busy texting? Chatting with your passenger? Congrats, you just killed someone because you're too dumb to operate a car.

On the highways I do exactly the speed limit and make a mental note of every vehicle around me, watching how they're driving to anticipate their next move. I don't do this simply out of safe habit but because a collision in the car I drive will probably result in my death.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:09 AM   #4
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If you were to crash someone head first on a highway, I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter whether you were doing 80 or 100. So you'd most likely die anyways.

And stay on the right side please.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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I find that on the road, I'm not operating a vehicle alone. I'm also having to correct for other driver's mistakes.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mkchoi0801 View Post
If you were to crash someone head first on a highway, I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter whether you were doing 80 or 100. So you'd most likely die anyways.

And stay on the right side please.
Uh, 20kph makes a big difference in a collision. By staying at the posted limit on the highway, I give myself better odds of surviving an encounter with an idiot.

PS thanks for the driving tip. I don't usually take advice from "L" drivers though.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:34 PM   #7
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Uh, 20kph makes a big difference in a collision. By staying at the posted limit on the highway, I give myself better odds of surviving an encounter with an idiot.

PS thanks for the driving tip. I don't usually take advice from "L" drivers though.
You might stand a better chance crashing at 80 than you would at 100, but a head-on collision at 160km/hr (both cars doing 80) is probably not something you will survive.

IMO, going with the flow of traffic is a better way to keep out of a collision since you have much better control over maintaining space around your vehicle.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:38 PM   #8
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Uh, 20kph makes a big difference in a collision. By staying at the posted limit on the highway, I give myself better odds of surviving an encounter with an idiot.

PS thanks for the driving tip. I don't usually take advice from "L" drivers though.
Really? cuz I'm pretty sure we have the same license, does that make you a "L" driver as well? And staying on the right side if you're gonna go under speed limit is a good one hate retards that are oblivious to 20 other cars tailgating him / her.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:54 PM   #9
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Really? cuz I'm pretty sure we have the same license, does that make you a "L" driver as well? And staying on the right side if you're gonna go under speed limit is a good one hate retards that are oblivious to 20 other cars tailgating him / her.
Since I can't actually fail your post, I'll just type FAIL in caps for you. I don't drive under the speed limit, and I didn't say I drove only in the left lane.

Say it with me folks... FAIL.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:59 PM   #10
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You might stand a better chance crashing at 80 than you would at 100, but a head-on collision at 160km/hr (both cars doing 80) is probably not something you will survive.

IMO, going with the flow of traffic is a better way to keep out of a collision since you have much better control over maintaining space around your vehicle.
Lets assume I'm doing about 100kph which is the average speed limit for a highway in BC. I'm well aware a collision head on especially with my tiny car is going to kill me. Had I been exceeding the limit and going around 120kph, it gives me less chance to avoid the collision. Granted there is probably not much I could do at either speed but there is always that chance...
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:22 AM   #11
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Going at the average 100 kph gives you enough time to avoid unnecessary accidents if you're focusing on what's going on. There's a reason why everyone goes 100+, I personally wouldn't risk myself to get to my destination 2 minutes faster. In fact, you're putting yourself at greater danger by going slower than flow of traffic as sebberry mentioned cuz ppl WILL speed past you and make dangerous passes.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:25 AM   #12
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Going at the average 100 kph gives you enough time to avoid unnecessary accidents if you're focusing on what's going on. There's a reason why everyone goes 100+, I personally wouldn't risk myself to get to my destination 2 minutes faster. In fact, you're putting yourself at greater danger by going slower than flow of traffic as sebberry mentioned cuz ppl WILL speed past you and make dangerous passes.
Sorry, I'm not putting myself at greater danger by doing the speed limit on the highway. If traffic wants to pass, they pass. There is a reason everyone does 100+? Yes. We have become a society of self-important goofs. I no longer get speeding tickets because I no longer speed. If you obstruct traffic doing below the 60kph minimum to travel on the highway then that is a different story, but going exactly the speed limit seems like a fine way to cruise as I am both passing slower vehicles and being passed by others.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:48 AM   #13
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Get your head out of your rear end for just a second and think about it. First, if you were going at the flow of traffic, there would be no need for anyone to pass each other, correct? Less passing by = less interaction with other cars = less accidents, no?

Besides, I never said it was technically 'wrong' to cruise at the posted speed limit. My initial point was that it's not going to save you whether or not you were doing 80 or 100 on a highway, you're just going to become a vegetable or die regardless.

A good 98% of Vancouver's population drives 100+ kph on the highway. Do you think everyone is just an idiot that wants to get to work faster by risking their lives? We've already accepted the idea that going at that speed is the more efficient way of traveling, and speeding tickets or ridiculously low speed limits are NOT going to change this mindset. And so far all you have come up with is that it's just the 'law'; you're not fooling anyone.

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Old 07-26-2010, 05:32 PM   #14
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Get your head out of your rear end for just a second and think about it. First, if you were going at the flow of traffic, there would be no need for anyone to pass each other, correct? Less passing by = less interaction with other cars = less accidents, no?

Besides, I never said it was technically 'wrong' to cruise at the posted speed limit. My initial point was that it's not going to save you whether or not you were doing 80 or 100 on a highway, you're just going to become a vegetable or die regardless.

A good 98% of Vancouver's population drives 100+ kph on the highway. Do you think everyone is just an idiot that wants to get to work faster by risking their lives? We've already accepted the idea that going at that speed is the more efficient way of traveling, and speeding tickets or ridiculously low speed limits are NOT going to change this mindset. And so far all you have come up with is that it's just the 'law'; you're not fooling anyone.
1) I don't live in vancouver
2) I'm talking about highways not within city limits

So far your rationale for speeding is that everyone already does it, so it must be safer to do so. This tells me you have held your license for maybe 2-3 years tops.

There is no "flow of traffic" on the highways I'm referring to. Tourists do 10-20 under, N drivers in daddy's car do 40 over. Unless you want to do double the limit, you WILL get passed in the course of the trip.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:21 PM   #15
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So far your rationale for speeding is that everyone already does it, so it must be safer to do so. This tells me you have held your license for maybe 2-3 years tops.
When you are the odd one out, it is unsafe.

You increase aggressive driving by encouraging others to tailgate you.

The tailgater who is now getting frustrated and is quickly losing the ability to make safe, thought-out decisions now makes an erratic lane change to get around you.

He may or may not use appropriate signalling and mirror-shoulder checks before abruptly making the lane change.

As his frustration mounts, he passes you and continues to accelerate to a speed greater than what most other drivers are currently travelling at until he aggressively tailgates someone up ahead in the left lane.

The process repeats, his anger increases and he has now lost most of his critical thinking abilities and fails to anticipate other potential hazards.


Now, it is my responsibility as a driver to ensure that my actions are safe and that I don't provoke aggressive behavior in other drivers.


I draw this conclusion from many experiments.

Each and every time I choose to do the speed limit on a crowded highway, I encounter or observe higher levels of aggressive driving in my immediate vicinity. It's always the same.

Most of the time when I drive with the flow of traffic, aggression around me decreases, spacing around vehicles increases and traffic simply flows better. I have much better control over the spacing behind, beside and in front of my vehicle, and more space means more reaction time and less chance of a collision.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:20 PM   #16
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When you are the odd one out, it is unsafe.

You increase aggressive driving by encouraging others to tailgate you.

The tailgater who is now getting frustrated and is quickly losing the ability to make safe, thought-out decisions now makes an erratic lane change to get around you.

He may or may not use appropriate signalling and mirror-shoulder checks before abruptly making the lane change.

As his frustration mounts, he passes you and continues to accelerate to a speed greater than what most other drivers are currently travelling at until he aggressively tailgates someone up ahead in the left lane.

The process repeats, his anger increases and he has now lost most of his critical thinking abilities and fails to anticipate other potential hazards.


Now, it is my responsibility as a driver to ensure that my actions are safe and that I don't provoke aggressive behavior in other drivers.


I draw this conclusion from many experiments.

Each and every time I choose to do the speed limit on a crowded highway, I encounter or observe higher levels of aggressive driving in my immediate vicinity. It's always the same.

Most of the time when I drive with the flow of traffic, aggression around me decreases, spacing around vehicles increases and traffic simply flows better. I have much better control over the spacing behind, beside and in front of my vehicle, and more space means more reaction time and less chance of a collision.
But again, most of that really only relates to traffic within city limits where you don't always have multiple lanes. On city streets I will run with the flow as you don't often top 70kph on single lane roads, and in heavy traffic you are most likely doing around the speed limit anyway. Simply BEING in that amount of traffic is what I find causes people to become impatient, including myself. I drive the same roads at 3am and 3pm often at the same speed except in the latter I find myself more annoyed because of the volume of cars despite the fact we're all moving at the same rate. On open highways people are generally more relaxed and moving past slower traffic is just part of the drive, so you can't really argue any requirement for traffic to move faster than the posted limit.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:14 AM   #17
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What's the point of arguing that it relates to traffic within city limits when most of general driving IS within the city anyways?

And much of society's norms are derived from what people normally do, hence the term 'norm'. You deviate from it, you're considered an outsider, in this case, you.

Also, what's with everyone saying that N drivers are clueless drivers. IMO it's just a learning process. Sure, I used to excessively speed, as most people do during their N stage, but I've never done something severely retarded that would cause myself damage in any way. As for driving 'daddys nice cars', I would much rather drive my dad's 5 series than some 80' civic, wouldn't you? Saves me money
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:26 AM   #18
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What's the point of arguing that it relates to traffic within city limits when most of general driving IS within the city anyways?

And much of society's norms are derived from what people normally do, hence the term 'norm'. You deviate from it, you're considered an outsider, in this case, you.

Also, what's with everyone saying that N drivers are clueless drivers. IMO it's just a learning process. Sure, I used to excessively speed, as most people do during their N stage, but I've never done something severely retarded that would cause myself damage in any way. As for driving 'daddys nice cars', I would much rather drive my dad's 5 series than some 80' civic, wouldn't you? Saves me money
Let me try to understand this... For fear of deviating from the 'norm' and being considered an outsider, one must negate any requirement to live within the boundaries of the law? I used to drive like you probably do now back when I was 19. It isn't really some huge mystery as to what changed between then and now, I simply grew up. The money I've saved in speeding tickets has allowed me to enjoy other aspects of my life.

As for my car, I guarantee I respect and enjoy my car more than you do yours. I mean your dad's
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:43 AM   #19
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Well, you can either let someone in a government office somewhere twenty years ago tell you what you can do or you can learn to think for yourself and base your driving decisions on the road and traffic conditions.

Let me put it to you another way - you're driving on a road, a 5 year old on a bicycle turned in the wrong direction and is now moments from being hit by your car.

You can see that the oncoming lane is clear but you are faced with a double yellow line which a man in a government office somewhere far away has told you must not be crossed under any circumstance.

What do you do? Do you let the man in the government office dictate your next move or do you let the conditions dictate your next move?
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:00 AM   #20
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As for my car, I guarantee I respect and enjoy my car more than you do yours. I mean your dad's
I guarantee you I drive a nicer car. And it's completely free! He even fills up the gas! I can use this money on other aspects of my life as well.

Any other personal comments you wish to make?
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:49 AM   #21
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I guarantee you I drive a nicer car. And it's completely free! He even fills up the gas! I can use this money on other aspects of my life as well.

Any other personal comments you wish to make?
You brought it up, dude. I really don't care about your dependence on your parents.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:59 AM   #22
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Well, you can either let someone in a government office somewhere twenty years ago tell you what you can do or you can learn to think for yourself and base your driving decisions on the road and traffic conditions.

Let me put it to you another way - you're driving on a road, a 5 year old on a bicycle turned in the wrong direction and is now moments from being hit by your car.

You can see that the oncoming lane is clear but you are faced with a double yellow line which a man in a government office somewhere far away has told you must not be crossed under any circumstance.

What do you do? Do you let the man in the government office dictate your next move or do you let the conditions dictate your next move?
Here is what you do...in your scenario..

Highway lines
155 (1) Despite anything in this Part, if a highway is marked with

(a) a solid double line, the driver of a vehicle must drive it to the right of the line only,

(b) a double line consisting of a broken line and a solid line,

(i) the driver of a vehicle proceeding along the highway on the side of the broken line must drive the vehicle to the right of the double line, except when passing an overtaken vehicle, and

(ii) the driver of a vehicle proceeding along the highway on the side of the solid line must drive the vehicle to the right of the double line, except only when finishing the passing of an overtaken vehicle, and

(c) one single line, broken or solid, the driver of a vehicle must drive the vehicle to the right of the line, except only when passing an overtaken vehicle.

(2) Subsection (1) (b) (i) and (c) do not apply if a driver is avoiding an obstruction on the highway and first ascertains that the movement can be made with safety and without affecting the travel of any other vehicle."

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Old 07-29-2010, 10:22 AM   #23
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Here is what you do...in your scenario..

Highway lines
155 (1) Despite anything in this Part, if a highway is marked with

(a) a solid double line, the driver of a vehicle must drive it to the right of the line only,

(b) a double line consisting of a broken line and a solid line,

(i) the driver of a vehicle proceeding along the highway on the side of the broken line must drive the vehicle to the right of the double line, except when passing an overtaken vehicle, and

(ii) the driver of a vehicle proceeding along the highway on the side of the solid line must drive the vehicle to the right of the double line, except only when finishing the passing of an overtaken vehicle, and

(c) one single line, broken or solid, the driver of a vehicle must drive the vehicle to the right of the line, except only when passing an overtaken vehicle.

(2) Subsection (1) (b) (i) and (c) do not apply if a driver is avoiding an obstruction on the highway and first ascertains that the movement can be made with safety and without affecting the travel of any other vehicle."

"
That's where I need your clarification - (a) (double yellow) isn't included in (2) (the clause which permits crossing the lines to avoid an obstruction)
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:48 PM   #24
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no clarification needed
if the oncoming lane is clear just cross it
common sense takes over
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:08 PM   #25
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no clarification needed
if the oncoming lane is clear just cross it
common sense takes over
The law doesn't always allow for common sense. Clarification needed.
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