With the Victoria Day weekend coming up, we’re seeing a steady stream of vehicles along the Coalmont road. What most people don’t notice is that none of them are honking their horn. Why is that?
Some readers may suggest that of course they’re not honking, that would be pretty offensive if they did. Well we’ve go news for you! According to the BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, it’s an offense not to. In fact, for a driver charged with this contravention there is currently a $109 fine and 2 points on your license.
The Motor Vehicle Act states specifically:
Travelling through canyons
196 When travelling through defiles or canyons or on mountain highways, the driver of a motor vehicle must hold the motor vehicle under control and as near the right hand edge of the highway as reasonably possible, and on approaching a curve where the view is obstructed within a distance of 60 m along the highway, must give audible warning with the horn of the motor vehicle.
One can argue about the steepness of the mountain sides and whether the Coalmont road goes through a “canyon” or if it’s just a valley, but there is no doubt that it’s a mountain highway. Neither is there any doubt that the slide area is a “defile” since a single lane is the very definition thereof.
So, how many places do you count along the road where your vision is obstructed 60 meters (200 feet) along? This is a bit of a conundrum. If you don’t honk, you’re committing an offense. If you do honk, you’re being offensive.