Driving knowledge

Many drivers on the road show little or no knowledge of B.C. driving laws

It is sadly apparent that many drivers on the road show little or no knowledge of B.C. driving laws. One day, as I turned right into the right lane when it was safe to do so, a lady that was turning left onto the same roadway, from across the intersection, cuts straight across the lanes, honks at me as she pushes her way into the right lane right in front of my car nearly causing an accident. She made it clear, by her stubborn look, that she thought she had the right away.

I am sure this happens on a daily basis and may seem trivial to some, but it is important to realize that road safety is not just about paying attention and being cautious, it invariably includes proper knowledge of the road laws currently in effect in BC. The law is called the “Motor Vehicle Act” of B.C. This law book holds the legal rules of the road which ICBC will use to determine if you made an error in an accident. It is also not uncommon for police to issue tickets to all drivers involved in the accident when all the drivers violated the Motor Vehicle Act, whether or not the violation contributed to the accident.

In the case of my real life example, the lady violated the law by failing to enter the highway onto the left lane, being the first violation and the second one was making an unsafe lane change, since she nearly impacted with me. If this lady caused an accident, ICBC would find her at fault for crossing the lanes unsafely and not driving in the left lane where she was supposed to after her left turn.

To locate a copy of the Motor Vehicle Act, there are two methods. One is to attend the BC government website called BC Laws at: http://www.bclaws.ca where you can order a copy for a fee. The other, being free, is to open your Internet browser and go to Google search, enter “motor vehicle act BC” (with no quotes) and the first ones listed in the search results will be the correct links. In reference to my real life experience, people should read section 165, “Turning at intersections”. With the way it is written, it means to turn left at the intersection into the left lane (lane immediately to the right of the center line). Also section 151 addresses changing lanes unsafely.

If people would take the time to read the Motor Vehicle Act and know what the law says, maybe there would be fewer accidents. Remember, in traffic court, ignorance of the traffic laws is not an excuse or justification for your actions.

Consider this as a last note.

ICBC and local police input a fair amount of manpower, man hours, costs and resources to address the number of road violations on a daily basis. This does not include the cost of the courts as well. Why is this? People just do not spend the time to learn the laws of the road and think they can do what they want. That money paid to deal with offenders comes from taxpayers pockets. If there is a need to reduce the cost to taxpayers, this is surely one of them instead of focusing on legalizing marijuana.

Mark Warbinek, Vernon