Lines: stay in your own lane

Part of the road near where I live has a set of winding curves on a steep grade.

Part of the road near where I live has a set of winding curves on a steep grade. I seldom drive this stretch of roadway without encountering an oncoming vehicle part way into my lane over the double solid yellow line.

There is no reason for this that I can see except that the other driver is either careless or incapable. The lanes are standard width and you are able to see oncoming traffic without difficulty if you look ahead.

This tendency to straighten out the curves by drivers is highlighted by the condition of the lines before they are repainted each year. The part of the line, centre or shoulder, on the inside of the curve has in some cases been completely worn away by the tires passing over it. I think that it is fair to say that it takes many sets of tires rolling in the wrong place to erase lane markings.

As a driver, your aim (pun intended) is to maintain a proper lane position at all times. It’s implicit in our highway system because we all share the same sheet of pavement or stretch of gravel. When we don’t, we risk running into each other. You are not being overly cautious, you are fitting into a system where safety dictates that we all manage space around us properly to avoid collisions.

So, what’s the best way to confine the path of your vehicle to where it is supposed to go? That will depend on what you are driving and how you choose reference points on your vehicle to guide you. When your vehicle is correctly positioned you will need to know its limits on all four sides, so choose wisely. Now, keep your eyes up and look ahead, your vehicle should follow your line of vision and you will know it.

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