Time for a driving refresher

Ian Jacques/Editor / Staff writer
November 23, 2012 01:00 AM

There have been some discussions the past few weeks about various areas of Highway 101 regarding speed and safety.

And while one of the suggestions made at the transportation advisory committee, dropping the speed limit on Highway 101 above Roberts Creek, thus reducing the speed limit from 80 km/h to 60 km/h between Flume Road and Lower Road, is a suggestion that merits some further discussion, there are many aspects of driving Highway 101 that can be improved simply by the drivers themselves.

As the rain continues to fall, the highway and side roads are wet and slick. We all need to learn to drive better and more safely for the conditions we are facing on our roads.

That means travelling at safe speeds, stopping the tailgating, providing enough warning to fellow drivers when you signal to turn off the highway and driving with your lights on.

This is a big pet peeve for me. In the past week, as I have travelled from my home in Gibsons to work in Sechelt, I have counted 10 drivers on various occasions not utilizing their headlights.

How is this happening, and what are these drivers thinking?

It's raining out, it's dark and there is very little highway light in most places along Highway 101. How can you put yourselves and others at risk by not driving with your lights on? This is just begging for an accident to happen.

Another pet peeve of mine is failing to stop for school buses.

This week, Sunshine Coast RCMP issued a press release saying that since the school year started in September, RCMP have received more than 30 formal complaints of drivers failing to stop for school bus signs.

Every day buses stop up and down Highway 101 with their lights flashing and a big red stop sign pushed out at the side of their bus alerting motorists that children are crossing to get on or off the bus. When you see a stop sign and flashing lights, that should be a clue for you as a driver to slow down and stop, but that clearly is not happening. It's just a miracle that there hasn't been an accident - yet. One time is unacceptable, but more than 30 occasions - that is unthinkable.

According to the British ColumbiaMotor Vehicle Act,it is prohibited to pass a school bus that is displaying red alternating lights. Drivers in both directions must stop and wait for the bus driver to load or off-load children and turn off the signal lights, before proceeding. The fine for failing to stop for a school bus is $167.

This seems pretty simple in my book, so why is this such an issue? Are people so consumed with getting to their desired destination that they forget some of these simple, common-sense rules of the road?

Yes, there are problems with our highway - problems that are long overdue for fixes and upgrades, but the main fix and upgrade should be to some of the drivers themselves. Following the rules of the road would make things a whole lot safer for everyone, in my book.

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