No excuse for breaking rules of road

The driver clearly knew that what they were doing was against the traffic laws but in their minds they were still being safe

One of the most common responses that I received having stopped a driver for a traffic violation was a rationalization or justification for the behaviour I observed.

The driver clearly knew that what they were doing was against the traffic laws but in their minds they were still being safe.

Exceeding the speed limit, slowing down for stop signs, or even driving on the wrong side of the road could be excused because, “No one else was around.”

If that was the case, where did I and my fully marked police vehicle materialize from?

Brake is a road safety charity in the U.K. They partnered with an insurance company and surveyed 1,000 drivers about their own driving and their perception of other drivers.

Among their findings are 63 per cent of young drivers feel that it is more dangerous than safe to drive, 46 per cent of men break the rules, but only when they can do it safely and that 99 per cent think that they are at least as safe as the average driver.

I suspect that if this survey was conducted here in British Columbia the results would be much the same. Most of us think that we are better than the average driver, something that cannot be true.

This perception of our own capabilities can lead to poor decision making which in the context of driving may mean injury and death. That costs us all when we pay our taxes and renew the insurance for our vehicles.

Will the B.C. government take this inflated perception of capability into consideration when they review the public input of the speed limit survey planned for next month?

I hope so because my experience has shown me that some drivers have neither the knowledge nor the forethought to contribute in a truly useful way.

Driver education should be a driving career long effort, not one that ends when we first receive our full licence.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

Just Posted

Comox Valley golfers prepare for another 55+ Games

Competition, camaraderie name of the game

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read