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An epidemic of Blacktop Blockheads

Generally, when I write about Blacktop Blockheads, I will have noticed one or two incidents of poor behaviour by a driver, cyclist or pedestrian.

This weekend, however, I saw a veritable epidemic of a couple of things, one of which is know is illegal under the Motor Vehicle Act, the other of which may be.

Let’s start with the one which is definitely illegal: changing lanes without signalling. On the weekend I was on a variety of roads, and almost all of them had people casually moving from one lane to another without alerting other road users they were doing so.

Some of these people apparently were in a hurry to get somewhere because they had watched too many cat videos on YouTube before leaving, and now had to make up time by driving above the speed limit.

I suspect the main reason they were changing lanes as often as possible to try to gain those precious few seconds was because they didn’t have enough brainpower to determine whether there was room to make the next lane change AND signal that lane change.

There were others, generally on streets with somewhat less traffic on them who made the lane changes with the attitude of “Everybody knows I need to be in this lane, so I don’t have to signal.” Doesn’t work that way under the MVA, I’m afraid.

The worst lane change I saw on the weekend, though, was on Highway 97 at 10th Avenue, where the driver decided he should change lanes to gain a few seconds.

And this was exactly at Highway 97 and 10th Avenue – as he was in the intersection. Stupid and illegal.

The other epidemic I have noticed recently is in parking lots, especially at shopping malls. Drivers seem to figure seem they’re off the street, they can go any speed they want and drive in any direction they want.

Wrong. In B.C., even though most parking lots are private property, the Motor Vehicle Act applies to them.

And while I don’t think there’s anything in the MVA about cutting across the lines marking parking spots, it’s not a good idea, because someone else could be coming in a legal manner.

Pedestrians also seem to forget the rules of safety when they’re in parking lots. I lost count (so it was at least three) of how many times I saw pedestrians blithely strolling right up the middle of one of the driving lanes in the lot.

The same rule applies. If it’s not something you’re allowed to do (or would consider safe) on a regular road, don’t do it in a parking lot.

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