As we’ve travelled around a bit since we’ve been here we thought we should share some tidbits of info regarding driving in Canada.
The roads are less busy than back home. Mostly. Apart from Vancouver which is just as busy as most bigger cities. Get outside the city and it’s a breath of fresh air. However there are a few oddities.
- The lanes. Choose wisely padawan. Pick the lane furthest right and let people pass you BUT beware of people parking in this lane in towns a cities AND it may suddenly turn into a right turn only lane. Pick the lane furthest to the left and make sure you’re going fast enough for the locals. They’ll happily pass you on the inside but you may get some looks AND it may turn into a left turn only lane. If you have three lanes to choose from and, unless advised otherwise, mooch along in the middle lane. Everyone is happy,
- Don’t be scared by flashing traffic lights. You get flashing red, flashing amber and flashing green, as well as the usual solid red, amber, green. Basically if it’s flashing, proceed with caution. If you approach an intersection with flashing red lights whoever arrives first, stops then proceeds, the other cars then take it in turns to go depending on who arrived next. Flashing amber means you need to slow down but unless there’s a stop sign you can go ahead. Flashing green seems to mean put your foot down but I’m pretty sure that’s not official. This system only works because Canadians are nice and polite. It wouldn’t work in the UK. BMW drivers would ignore any protocols and Audi drivers would do the same but try and do it faster.
- ‘Prepare To Stop’. OMG we need this at home. About 100m from traffic lights about to change lights start flashing above the road advising you PREPARE TO STOP. It’s brilliant. It’s so simple and it works. You see the lights starting to flash and start to slow. Saves on brakes and probably fuel and it’s more economical than slamming on your brakes ,or worse ignoring the lights (ahh but it was a soft red officer).
On the whole driving here is not as scary as you may think…ok ok as I thought. I still hate driving on the wrong side of the road.