Driving with busted headlights can result in a Notice & Order. (submitted)

Driving with busted headlights can result in a Notice & Order. (submitted)

Column Drivesmart; It’s still drivable!

My preferred method of dealing with drivers like these was the Notice & Order.

By Tim Schewe

I saw many things over the two decades that I spent in full time traffic law enforcement. Some of those things left me shaking my head wondering why the driver ever chose to leave the driveway! If you don’t value the life of other road users, surely you value your own.

During an evening shift I was met by a car whose driver failed to dim the headlights. A glance in the mirror as I passed by also revealed a lack of rear lights. After stopping the driver and examining the vehicle I determined that the headlights only worked on high beam and none of the rear lights worked at all.

The car had been involved in a rear end collision and the driver was waiting for ICBC to fix it. It was their only vehicle and the family was returning from a non-essential trip that involved a four-hour drive each way. At that time of year there were about eight hours of daylight, so the outing could not have been conducted exclusively during the daylight.

I actually met a graduate from the Red Green School of Mechanics one day. His windshield wipers had stopped working so he had tied a thin rope to the driver’s wiper, passed it through both vent windows to lay on the dash and then tied the other end to the passenger’s wiper. If it ever rained, he just had his passenger pull the rope to operate the wipers.

Do we even want to know what happened when it rained and he was alone?

My preferred method of dealing with drivers like these was the Notice & Order. There were three levels of action that could be chosen, depending on the severity of the defects found.

A #3 was the least intrusive. It simply asked that you repair the noted defects and advise the police you had done so.

The #2 had more teeth. The driver was required to take the vehicle to a designated inspection facility promptly and pass inspection within 30 days. If the pass was not obtained within that time, the vehicle could no longer be driven or parked on a highway.

A #1 was for the vehicles that were truly dangerous. From the moment it was issued until inspection was passed, the vehicle could not be driven or parked on a highway and had to be moved by tow truck or on a trailer.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca