For any institution or avenue to run smoothly, laws have to be created, implemented, and enforced. They guide how things are meant to be, and when ignored or assumed, they might cause a state of disorder in the running of institutions, organizations, and governments. All driving laws are now well stipulated in the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act, which was last amended on 1st April 2019. These driving laws are set to affect the automotive industry as it contributes widely to the safety of passengers and drivers.
Read through to familiarize yourself with the driving laws in British Columbia and its effects on the automotive industry.
1. Drinking and Driving
Getting behind the wheel when drunk is a great offense in British Columbia, just like it is in so many other states and countries. Intoxicated drivers are driving on the roads and this is not good news at all. Stricter laws concerning this issue have been put in place to curb accidents that are likely to occur when driving under the influence of alcohol. Actually, many deaths have been reported dead every day as a result of alcohol use. As a matter of fact, according to the CDC, approximately 28% of traffic crush in 2016 were as a result of impaired driving. It is no news that people enjoy drinks and love partying but still want to drive themselves to different destinations. Penalties that apply when you are caught driving when drunk may include losing your driving license, fines, and even losing your vehicle.
Drivers are expected to take a breathalyzer test and penalties apply for drivers who refuse to willingly take the test. Police can conduct random stalking checks and if they have reasonable grounds to consider you drunk on the road, then the law will be harsh on you. If you have to drink, then make some alternative arrangements for travel, like taking a cab or seeing to it that you have a designated driver.
2. Car Seats and Seat Belts
Everyone is obliged to have with them fastened seat belts as they drive in British Columbia. Besides following the law, wearing a seat belt is one way a person can protect a person from unforeseen accidents. Also, it is also important to always ensure that the seat belts of the car you’re driving are in good condition and easy to operate. According to the article “British Columbia Seatbelt Laws: What you Need to Know” from Preszler Law, it is illegal to drive a car that has inoperative seat belts.
Also, the law stipulates that a child should not be driven on a highway without being properly fastened in the required seating position. This applies to even children with mobility impairments or any other kind of special needs. This is done by fastening a child in a booster seat or seat belt assembly according to the instructions given by the automotive manufacturer.
Appropriate infant restraint systems are put in place by vehicle manufacturers for use on children that have not attained the age of one and a minimum weight of 9kgs. Well-installed seats in a vehicle are a great assurance for comfort and security. For the driver’s seat, it must be tightly secured on the floor to ensure that he is comfortable while operating the motor vehicle. Manufacturers, therefore, have the responsibility of equipping every vehicle with durable seats and every seat in the vehicle with a seat belt that is comfortable and easy to use for the safety of every driver, as well as their passengers.
3. Vehicle Parts and Accessories
The automotive industry has to meet a certain standard for equipment such as brakes, tires, doors and lighting in order to have the safest vehicle in operation. A vehicle must be fully equipped to even find its way on the road; otherwise, it would cause a lot of trouble with the authorities. Unless a vehicle is well equipped with brakes, for instance, it is not considered suitable for driving on the highway. When the brakes are applied, they should not affect the vehicle’s direction of travel and should be adequate to come to a halt for a vehicle traveling at 30 km/h on any road.
A motor vehicle has to also be equipped with an emergency braking system that can stop the motor vehicle when applied. Winter tires must have at least 3.5mm of thread depth, which must be labeled by the manufacturer with 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbols. The wheels and tire should be of the same size and should not have any missing or broken spokes. The doors of a vehicle must be installed where the vehicle was manufactured and should be in good working condition.
in British Columbia, vehicles must meet diesel emission standards to be considered suitable for driving on the highway. These standards listed in the Heavy Vehicle Diesel Emissions standard regulations. In an attempt to make the environment better by lowering unhealthy gas emissions, the Clean Energy Vehicle Program for BC has made clean energy vehicles accessible to Columbians. The government has greatly intervened and advocated for CEV’s and the automobile industry has, in turn, recorded great sales since 2016 due to the widespread use of these vehicles. With the development of technology, more fuel-efficient vehicles are likely to hit the industry now that the emissions law was passed.
Even with the popularity of these vehicles, it’s highly likely going to take time to achieve this goal. It is also expected that by 2040, all fuel-burning cars will be banned, fully giving way to zero emission vehicles. This transition, however, is posing a challenge to manufacturers who will have to make huge investments to improve their manufacturing facilities and train their workers in the new technology. The automotive industry might feel this to be a threat to the industry but there is still more than enough time to adjust and adapt.
With the amended laws, the automotive industry keeps getting better and keeps up with the same laws. Cars have to be fixed, serviced, maintained regularly to meet the standards of the road or else, owners and drivers risk huge penalties.
Finally, the automotive industry is very much responsible for how a car operates and that’s why the driving laws indirectly affect the industry. Today’s vehicle designs have to incorporate all the law’s requirements, especially those that involve seat belts, brakes, and speed limiters. And when it comes to Canada's westernmost province, the Ministry of Transportation supports the Motor vehicle act and is at the forefront of making British Columbia a better place.