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Blind spot? There's no such thing as a blind spot

  • Brand New Cars in Stock. Dealership Vehicles Lot. New Cars Market.

The Wheels section of the Toronto Star is by far the most widely-read automotive publication in the country.

So why amongst the hundreds (thousands?) of employees of Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, isn’t a single one of them reading either the dead-tree or on-line editions?

What else am I supposed to conclude, after what I read on one of the MTO’s pixelboard signs on the 401 this afternoon:

CHECK BLIND SPOT BEFORE CHANGING LANES

Geez, people: for the four hundred and ninety-seven million, three hundred and forty-two thousand, six hunded and twenty-seventh (estimated) time:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BLIND SPOT!!!

As I’ve been telling you for 35 years (and the Society of Automotive Engineers for at least 15; took them a while to catch on too …): in the vast majority of cars, if you adjust your side-view mirrors properly – much further out than Granddad probably taught you – the blind spots disappear.

Again, there is no need to see the side of your own car. You know where it is; right where it was when you pulled out of your parking spot earlier in the day at the start of your journey.

It’s what’s BESIDE the side of your own car that you need to know about.

So why doesn’t that pixelboard sign read:

ADJUST SIDE-VIEW MIRRORS TO ELIMINATE BLIND SPOTS

Easy as pie to do.

But then the very next pixelboard sign did read:

SEE AND BE SEEN – USE YOUR LIGHTS

Hmm-mm – maybe somebody who is running these signs does have half a clue! Because you really should have ALL your lights on, ALL the time.

Maybe I have ONE reader at the MTO??

This message was particularly appropriate, given that at this particular point in time it was raining, and you really need to have your full lights on in poor weather so drivers approaching from behind can see you.

Because – as you should know but so many people appear not to know – in most cases, Daytime Running Lights do not illuminate the taillights.

However, at this particular point in time, I’d estimate that about 90 per cent of the cars only had their DRL on.

Which means that not many people are reading the pixelboard signs anyway.

Or at least, not heeding the message.

Sigh…

But if the MTO is going to put messages up there, they might as well be the truth!

And if the MTO can’t convince their federal counterparts at Transport Canada to mandate that DRL also include taillights, or at the very least make it illegal for DRL to also switch on the dashboard lights, because that’s what fools most people into thinking they DO have their lights on, the province should at least follow the lead of several U.S. states (New York being one of them) and mandate that headlights must be on when the wipers are on.

A single stroke of the legislative pen and our roads would be safer, because it would give our police forces the opportunity to create ‘learning moments’ for our brain-dead drivers.

Hmm-mm – wonder if anybody at Transport Canada is reading?

Probably not…

Double-sigh…

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