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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A West Vancouver developer has applied to the City of Courtenay to construct a 39-unit strata development at 2650 Copperfield Rd. Scott Stanfield photo Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay council gives second reading to contentious development proposal

A West Vancouver developer has applied to the City of Courtenay to construct a 39-unit strata development at 2650 Copperfield Rd. Scott Stanfield photo Scott Stanfield photo

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Some of the affidavits filed come from family members of Casa Loma and Comox Valley Seniors Village residents in Courtenay. Record file photo
Courtenay seniors’ homes included in class action suit

Plaintiffs in early stage of applying for class certification on suit

Untreated gypsy moth populations can cause significant damage to forests, farms, orchards and urban trees. File photo
Aerial gypsy moth control spraying scheduled for Courtenay

The aerial-spray treatments to prevent gypsy moth infestations are scheduled for the… Continue reading

MARS can now offer private spaces for its orphaned fawns. Photo by Pearl MacKenzie.
Housing natural enemies a challenge for Merville’s Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society

Jane Sproull Thomson Special to Black Press If you’ve ever had a… Continue reading

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Island man sentenced in Nanaimo after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, of Nanoose Bay, given six-month sentence

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Most Read