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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 04-15-2011, 09:09 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Increasing Speed While Being Passed

Passing zones always presented interesting situations for traffic enforcement. There were many times when I would find one driver in the right lane traveling at or near the speed limit and another passing by in the left at a speed significantly in excess of the speed limit. On stopping the speeder I would often hear about how they had been forced to travel behind the slower vehicle, which had been going well under the limit, for great distances and how that slow driver sped up on reaching the passing lane.

My difficulty was that the passing lanes were good opportunities to travel at the speed limit compared to the highway leading up to them. Experience had taught me that if I applied my speed "allowance" for drivers over the limit to those under the limit and watched the advisory speed signs, speeders were a dime a dozen and truly slow drivers were like hen's teeth.

"Isn't there a law about increasing your speed while being passed?" I was often asked. Yes there is. Except where passing on the right is allowed, a driver being passed must not increase their speed until they are completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

Passing zones permit passing on the right because there are at least two adjacent lanes for the same direction of travel. So, the previously slow driver is allowed to speed up to the limit in the passing zone. If you have to exceed the limit in order to pass them, you take your chances with law enforcement.

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Old 04-15-2011, 10:03 PM   #2
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I saw this all the time on the Sea-To-Sky. On the windy parts, most drivers drive quite slowly - but when they reach wide open stretches with the passing lanes - they speed up like crazy. HateHateHate
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:14 AM   #3
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To add to Skids post...

Duty when overtaking
157 (1) Except as provided in section 158, the driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle

(a) must cause the vehicle to pass to the left of the other vehicle at a safe distance, and

(b) must not cause or permit the vehicle to return to the right side of the highway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, a driver of an overtaken vehicle,

(a) on hearing an audible signal given by the driver of the overtaking vehicle, must cause the vehicle to give way to the right in favour of the overtaking vehicle, and

(b) must not increase the speed of the vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.


I followed a car ( 2 vehicles back) 3 days ago that was driving from 55-70 in an 80 zone with me and 3 other vehicles behind him on a 2 lane section of Hwy 19A. There were no passing opportunities for approx 8 kms. When he hit the short 4 lane he goosed it up to what I estimated as 110k, then slowed again to his previous 55-70 in the 80. As he accelerated up to 110 the other vehicles around me passed him so they were hitting at least 130 to get by. By the time I caught up again to him he turned off onto a side road. I wished I could have called in an A-10 air strike on him, however life is too short to use up one of my 3 "Genie wishes" on him. I was tempted though.

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Old 04-16-2011, 07:44 AM   #4
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^The old Sea-to-Sky was the same - only a few passing opportunities, some of them very short, and they were usually in the straight gaps between long, winding sections. And of course, those passing areas were where you'd usually see photo radar set up, so if the clown in the camper puttering along at 15 under, decided he was going to crank it up to the speed limit, well, it was a good bet nobody was even going to try to pass him.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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Passing zones permit passing on the right because there are at least two adjacent lanes for the same direction of travel. So, the previously slow driver is allowed to speed up to the limit in the passing zone. If you have to exceed the limit in order to pass them, you take your chances with law enforcement.
Why is it always the driver who is travelling at a speed reasonable for the conditions who gets nailed when they pull out to pass another driver who has barely hit the (under)posted speed limit over the last 10km?

It's time to set speed limits according to the 85th percentile and target aggressive drivers (read: tailgaters and weavers). You'll improve traffic flow, gain a higher level of compliance (because the limits are seen reasonable and are taken more seriously) and free up enforcement resources for more serious offences.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:57 PM   #6
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Why is it always the driver who is travelling at a speed reasonable for the conditions who gets nailed when they pull out to pass another driver who has barely hit the (under)posted speed limit over the last 10km?

It's time to set speed limits according to the 85th percentile and target aggressive drivers (read: tailgaters and weavers). You'll improve traffic flow, gain a higher level of compliance (because the limits are seen reasonable and are taken more seriously) and free up enforcement resources for more serious offences.
On the Sea-To-Sky anyways, not sure about other areas - the drivers who have been driving below the speed limit most of the way - will speed up to a good 10 above the speed limit - which is what I would deem as the safe limit. You need to crank it up to a good 30 above to pass those guys - which honestly is very hairy on a winding road like the Sea-To-Sky. But what can you do.....??
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:59 PM   #7
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Not pass? Just thinking out loud.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:09 PM   #8
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Right... and then when you get beyond the passing lane, they slow down to under the limit and you're stuck behind them for the next half hour.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:10 PM   #9
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Why is it always the driver who is travelling at a speed reasonable for the conditions who gets nailed when they pull out to pass another driver who has barely hit the (under)posted speed limit over the last 10km?

It's time to set speed limits according to the 85th percentile and target aggressive drivers (read: tailgaters and weavers). You'll improve traffic flow, gain a higher level of compliance (because the limits are seen reasonable and are taken more seriously) and free up enforcement resources for more serious offences.
Seriously? It doesn't matter what the speed limit is, whether it's reasonable or smart or appropriate, that's not going to deter the assholes engaging in the above behavior.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:37 PM   #10
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Not pass? Just thinking out loud.
if it's unsafe - I don't pass.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:36 AM   #11
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I don't mind it when people drive slow, what I do mind is when people can't keep up with the flow of traffic. 10 people in a 50km/h zone with 8 of them going 60km/h and 2 of them going 40km/h is going to have more problems then all 10 going the same or close to the same speed. I always think to myself, even if they're going slow they're still just as much of a hazard to me as the ones who are going above the limit.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:42 AM   #12
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Just because there are roads with maximum speed limits does not mean that all vehicles should be expected to travel at those liits all the time. BC is full of mountains and whacky coast lines so it's expected that campers, large trucks and even trucks like mine (monster 4runner's) will be going slow around sharp corners and steep hills.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:00 AM   #13
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^That's all well and good, as long as you're not unduly holding up traffic. That means allowing others to pass when they have the chance, and using pullouts when possible, to let other traffic go by.

Not that YOU aren't a courteous driver, but this simple thinking seems to escape a lot of people... including professional drivers like truckers, who really should know better.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:25 PM   #14
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I don't mind it when people drive slow, what I do mind is when people can't keep up with the flow of traffic. 10 people in a 50km/h zone with 8 of them going 60km/h and 2 of them going 40km/h is going to have more problems then all 10 going the same or close to the same speed. I always think to myself, even if they're going slow they're still just as much of a hazard to me as the ones who are going above the limit.
This is exactly what cause accidents--variance in speed. If you watch Nascar, a pack of drivers traveling at the same high speed never ever cause accidents. The act of drafting also greatly improves fuel efficiency.

It's when some drivers decide to go way too slow AND not yielding, accidents happens because other drivers will be more tempted to pass the slow vehicles.

Speed limit should be set to the prevailing speed of traffic, not the limit that some a-holes think safe. I strongly believe that you should automatically yield whenever you see a vehicle pulling up behind or at least at the first quick honk instead of ignoring the signal and worst, flipping the bird.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:01 PM   #15
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Um..,.your NASCAR analogy is not quite correct....



They seems to be all going at the same high speed to me or am I missing something here?
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:11 PM   #16
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99% of NASCAR crashes are caused by loss of traction, either from being nudged (very first crash in that video is a good example), or because of "marbles" or debris on the track, or just from overdriving the car's capabilities (or the driver's). Everyone going at the same speed just means one car spinning out is going to take a lot of nearby cars with him. It's the guys that are going slower that often have time to avoid the crash, and those going faster who escape the mess behind them.

So... yeah, bad analogy.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:48 PM   #17
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And drafting is a horrible idea. You need to be right up close to the car in front to get the full benefits of drafting. I've heard of cars following big trucks on the highway, and driving a good meter behind to draft - probably one of the most dangerous things you can do.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:25 PM   #18
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The number one cause of NASCAR crashes has just been discovered by downloading the voice recorders in the CPU units in the cars...according to the info obtained, the voice recorders noted the following statment from all the drivers as they were heard to say in the seconds immediately preceeding the crash...."here Bubba, hold my beer and watch this!!!!"
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #19
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The number one cause of NASCAR crashes has just been discovered by downloading the voice recorders in the CPU units in the cars...according to the info obtained, the voice recorders noted the following statment from all the drivers as they were heard to say in the seconds immediately preceeding the crash...."here Bubba, hold my beer and watch this!!!!"
Also the leading cause of fuel tanker crashes!

The problem with your NASCAR comparison is they are travelling very closely to one another. You can't ignore all the other factors while using NASCAR as an example of why not to "go with the flow".

If you go with the flow, it is much easier to keep the space to the sides of your car clear. I go with the flow to maintain clear space beside me should I need to swerve for whatever reason.

I can't keep the space to the sides of my car clear anywhere near as easily if I'm constantly looking at my speedometer thinking "am I speeding?, am I speeding? am I speeding? am I speeding?"

Having clear space to the side of my car is much more likely to keep me out of a collision than if I was constantly driving around as if there is a speed trap ahead.
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