Letters to the Editor

The new rules of the road

Editor:

I received my driver’s licence more than 30 years ago. Based on my experiences driving in Richmond, it is apparent that I need an update on the rules of the road.

How many vehicles are allowed to pass through an intersection after the traffic light has turned green to red? Four? Five? Six?

How many vehicles are allowed to go through an occupied pedestrian crosswalk (lit or unlit) before someone stops for the pedestrian? Ten? Twelve? Fifteen?

How many kilometres over the speed limit is it acceptable to drive? Twenty? Thirty? Fifty?

When an emergency vehicle approaches, I was always taught to pull over to the right when safe to do so. Is it acceptable now to keep on driving in any lane, cross through intersections, and turn corners totally ignoring the fact that an emergency vehicle is trying to get to an emergency?

“Stop” signs and “stop” lights used to mean just that—stop! Is it now acceptable to act as if one were going to stop by tapping the brakes, but not actually stop?

I thought four-way stops were treated as an “I go, you go” situation, and when in doubt, yielding to the driver on the right. Now, is it acceptable to get as many vehicles as possible through the intersection in one direction before allowing the vehicles in the other direction their turn?

Evidently, the flow of traffic is no longer important. Is it acceptable to block an intersection with a vehicle and continue to do so for a number of traffic light changes, thus preventing all traffic from moving?

If turn signals are no longer required, why do car manufacturers still put them on their vehicles?

If lanes do not mean anything, and we are not required to stay in, or turn from or into a certain lane, then why do the city workers spend so much time painting them on the roads?

If the rules of the road vary so frequently, perhaps the Department of Motor Vehicles can provide us “experienced” drivers with an annual guide to keep us up to date with the changes.

Jean Zdenek

Richmond

Editor:

I am the infuriating driver you sometimes find yourself behind, observing the 30 km/h posted speed limit since the excavator hit the bridge and weakened its structure a few months ago.

I find myself regularly honked at, fingered, and swerved closely around as I observe the law meant to preserve our community resource. If we as a community cannot care for an important commuter link (you save about 18 seconds going 50 or 60 over the bridge rather than 30), I say close it down and let us all wait in congestion on the other crossings.

I sure hope the city engineers aren’t labouring under the illusion that Richmond citizens are observing their 30 km/h warning.

Brenda Geib

Richmond

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