Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It’s a Red Light, Stupid!

There is a disturbing trend here in Vancouver and I feel compelled to issue a PSA about it.

It’s about people running red lights, particularly on a left turn.

The other day a girlfriend and I were driving to pick up my kid from daycare, and we were waiting for the light to go green so that we could turn left. Well, the light turned but there were four cars still turning left from perpendicular traffic. Seriously, the light turned red and FOUR. CARS. TURNED. after it turned. What the hell is that?! Has everyone completely forgotten the rules? Is it not common knowledge that you don’t enter the intersection to turn left, if there’s another car in front of you waiting to do the same? Does it not make sense that that this rule is in place specifically to prevent you from turning after a red and potentially getting into/causing an accident?

Now, before I get too up on my high horse, I’m going to admit that I’ve done this time to time. I’m in a bit of a rush, I’ve been stuck at that light for a few cycles, no one yields on the amber light and I’m forced to turn after the red, or I’m irritated that the car in front of me didn’t take the half dozen chances he had (seriously, what is that? There are some people who just will not turn until the light is amber or even red, regardless of how clear the turn is. It drives me batty!) so I’ll take the turn even though I know damn well that I’m not in the right to do so. It’s selfish, and not just a little unsafe.

Having said that, stop turning after the damn red!! It’s the same as running a red light, and just as illegal. There are red light cameras cropping up everywhere and one day I swear the intersection turned into a rave for a few seconds because of all the flashes from so many cars turning after the red.

That’s it. I’m done.

Oh by the way, British Columbians: the fine for failing to yield on a red light while making a left turn is $167 and will put 2 points on your license. So the next time you prepare to turn after the red, ask yourself if getting to where you have to be 2 minutes sooner than if you had waited worth the risk a $167 ticket?

PS: Are you as well versed on driving rules as you think you are? Take this practice test from ICBC to find out.