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Drivers Who Drive Me Crazy.

By Jack deWit

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 03:30 AM

by Jack deWit

I'm sure all of you have driven down the road and thought to yourselves, "Is this for real? Can this be legal?" Well in most cases it's not. So why does it continue to happen. I suppose the police don't think it's dangerous, they're overworked and have to prioritize, or they don't want to be bothered writing tickets. I'm talking here of unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers that eventually cost us all with higher insurance rates.

You would think that since the Insurance Corporation of B.C. has a monopoly on basic insurance that their attitude would be to make sure their clients operate safe vehicles and drive in a manner that would prevent accidents. Not too evident in Prince George because I see illegal modifications on a regular basis with no sign of a decrease in frequency. ICBC claims for windshields are very expensive for northern drivers, yet how often do you see a jacked up pickup or muscle car with tires that stick out well beyond the fenders causing rocks and mud to spray behind them? Trucks that are raised so high that the center of gravity is elevated to an unsafe level, their steering and suspension components are out of synchronization, the headlights out of position, and u-joints worked to the max. If the owners of these trucks wish to install wider tires, provisions should also be made to cover the tire with fender extensions and mud flaps as required under the Motor Vehicle Act. I have personally received several chips from rocks being thrown up from these types of vehicles.

Have you ever watched a vehicle go by with a dog sitting on the driver's lap hanging its head out the window? Again, I see it all too often and I am only on the road for maybe three to five hours a week. An RCMP officer once told me that anytime your vision or ability to handle the vehicle safely is obstructed unnecessarily you can be charged with impaired driving. This would include things like frosted up windows, wipers and lights that don't work when they are needed, and dogs that could get caught up in your steering wheel. It is only common sense that a driver would want to be able to have full control of their vehicle. Recently I viewed a motorhome with two poodles running across the dash from side to side. I suppose these dogs wanted to be the first at the scene of an accident!

Oh, those merge lanes! What does it really mean? Well in Prince George many drivers mistake a merge sign for a stop sign. An octagon shaped sign means stop. A diamond sign represents a warning of traffic hazards or construction. There have been many rear end collisions caused because someone decided to stop in a merge lane. Merge means to fit into the traffic flow without disrupting it. It suggests that you stay in the merge lane until you have reached the speed of traffic in the regular lane and then change lanes. Remember that "right of way" rule! I spent 10 years driving over the Lions Gate Bridge where you have five southbound lanes merging into either one or two lanes depending on the direction flow of the center lane. Although it is congested, it is not caused by drivers failing to merge properly but simply by the volume of cars trying to cross the bridge. If drivers can merge at the north end of this bridge with no problems, why can't Prince George drivers merge into one lane from two?

How often do you see a driver make a left hand turn onto a 2-lane thoroughfare and cross directly into the right hand lane? The proper turn is into the left lane then change to the right lane if it is clear. It's really quite simple and takes very little common sense. The driver's instruction manual even has pictures for those who can't read.

Every driver should take the time to re-educate himself/herself periodically and effectively the accident rate would be much lower. Drive safely with a safe vehicle; it might save someone's life, perhaps yours.


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Comments

Hey Jack,the reason no one knows how to merge properly is because there is no consistancy in this town,our wonderful planners have made half the lanes merge lanes and the other half yield lanes,nobody knows where they are.
As far as the part about the jacked up 4x4's with the big tires,you forgot to mention that these yahoo's usually have a pit bull or husky/shepard cross running around the box barking/distracting people.I usually encounter this problem on the Hart highway or out in Pineveiw.
Last but not least there should be a law against being female and trying to drive and talk on the cell phone at the same time,the younger they are the worst they get.
over and out ROCK
If some clown stops infront of me in the merge lane...I drive around the moron without blinking an eye, there are so many pitiful drivers in this town, hesitaters, people who dont pay attention, can't merge, don't signal, etc. My pet peeve are people who slow down on a green light in anticipation...it is GREEN not yellow...and worst of all....the LEFT LANE IS THE FAST LANE! If someone is behind you get in the other lane moron!
Jack, IMO who cares. Driving here is a dream. Go to "The coast" and drive around in Vancouver for a week................
You back? Now tell me, how bad do we have it here? Not bad at all dude. Chill out relax and take a chill pill. P.G. driving is a dream, but hey maybe you are 72 and aren't used to this hectic pace in ol PG.

Peace out.
Jeez Jack, now you got even me worried. I'd hate to be one of those responsible for driving uou "ctazy." Other people have told me I drive them crazy, but they know me, and I sure as hell do not want to be responsible for driving a complete stranger crazy!!!
You never mentioned if those poodles were little, and the dashboard large, nor if the motorhome was parked or mobile. Guess to you the problem is there even if it is hypothetical!!. Now I do not figure a little eight or ten pound dog on a lap is any more of a hazard than a guys 40 or 50 pound "beer belly" up against the wheel. That damn beer belly is pretty well attached, and even tho' one could figure it to be kind of a buffer, like maybe a spongy airbag, it can impede one's steering ability.
Cop stopped me a few years back for speeding, and I immediately informed him I was permitted to do so right on my licence. Upon his request I produced it and it said plain as could be, "TEAR ALONG DOTTED LINE." Just spoofing you!!
We would have a lot more accidents if people changed lanes like you say. Not all dopeheads in this city.
As for cracked windshields, tell the city to stop trying to solve ice problems with rocks that hit and sound like boulders. Maybe you can afford a new windshield with every crack, but you are in a different section of society maybe than the average working guy. Tell I C B C to get back to being reasonable, and more windshields will be replaced!!!
Should have stayed on that Lion's Gate bridge. Methinks you were much happier there. Cheers!!