Steve Wallace: Infant on car roof and other weird tales

The things one sees while driving in our province are difficult to believe. Here are some real-world examples which could be filed under the heading: “You Can't Make This Stuff Up.”

The guy standing on top of a party bus in Vancouver last week, imitating a surfer, as it entered the roadway on-ramp, is a good example of the laws of natural selection at work. The fact that no fellow occupants in the party bus intervened speaks volumes concerning this irresponsible action and non-action aboard this potential coffin on wheels. My sympathy would go to the innocent drivers who through no fault of their own, would be adversely affected for life, if they hit this idiot.

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The best tongue lashing I have ever witnessed was in the Central Interior of B.C. A young mother was struggling with a grocery bag and an infant in a car seat. She placed the infant in the seat on the roof of the vehicle and deposited the bag of groceries in the back seat of the car. She closed the door and went around to the driver side of the vehicle. At this point she was verbally chastised by an elderly woman, probably a granny, for seemingly forgetting the child. A diatribe of colourful hyphenated words filled the air as the young mother retreated to the safety of her vehicle, after fetching the infant.

A driver was stopped by the police and had no idea why the police would take such action. As the constable approached the vehicle, the driver was seen trying to put on the seatbelt, which of course was lodged in the door frame, while the metal clip was clearly visible to the officer. When he asked the driver why he had been stopped, the driver complained that the seatbelt was not functioning properly and could not be effectively used. The constable agreed, since he had observed the seatbelt dangling from the driver side for several kilometres. A ticket was issued.

Ed is a regular reader of this column. He has observed a potential hazard when trucks exit the ferry terminal and read the signs on the various overpasses leading to Victoria. His first suggestion concerns the metric measurement only. Since there are many long haulers from south of the boarder, would it not behoove the authority to give the bridge and overpass heights in feet and inches? Coming from the ferry terminal the various overpasses are in declining height warning measurements. The first being 6M then 5M and 4.3M. What if the trucker has not prepared properly? There seems to be no turn-around opportunity. Would the police attend to help stop traffic, as the truck backs up a considerable distance? Yes, they would likely attend.

Many new vehicles are on the market with a keyless entry option. This is not only a convenience but also an anti-theft device. The fob will open and lock the vehicle in an instant. Fewer vehicles use the standard key in the door lock today. Years ago, VW produced so many Beetle vehicles that it had to duplicate the keys. They would keep these duplicate situations in far away geographical areas of North America.

I once witnessed a VW owner unknowingly unlock a vehicle of exact make, model and colour as their own.

As the innocent driver sat behind the wheel, the rightful owner arrived on the scene.

You can imagine the conversation. This minor dispute was put to rest when the arriving driver’s key opened the seemingly offending driver’s car. One was a local sale and the other had been purchased in Eastern Canada.

Steve Wallace is the owner of Wallace Driving School on Vancouver Island. He is a former vice-president of the Driving Schools Association of the Americas, a registered B.C. teacher and a University of Manitoba graduate.

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