Question: I see so many vehicles with Canada plates busting the speed limit on Interstate 5, sometimes by a notable amount. Is there a standard answer for why?
I presume their speedometers are marked in kilometers per hour, yet our controls and signals are in miles per hour. So do they not know that they are speeding? Might it be a benefit to safety, to add some signs with metric speed on our roads, to clearly inform them?
Answer: No, there is no standard answer for why. The kph versus mph doesn't work in their favor. The metric 100 kph is about 62 mph. I think that if you watch traffic, you will find a similar number of Washington plates speeding past, they just don't attract your attention. The Washington State Patrol and most of the other agencies don't have any difficulty writing infractions for speed, no matter what state or country the offender is from.
Q: Please remind drivers that it is lawful to make a left turn at a red light when turning from a two-way street onto a one-way street. Perfect example is heading southbound on Garden Street at the intersection of Chestnut Street. Drivers here routinely wait for the light to turn green before making a left turn, but a left on red is lawful in that situation and downhill traffic visibility is excellent - unlike the unlawful right on red (due to limited visibility down the hill) when heading northbound on Garden.
A: Your comment is correct, but the legal ability to take the left turn on red does not require a driver to do so. It is a driver's decision to make that movement based on their comfort level.
ABOUT RULES OF THE ROAD
Rules of the Road is a regular column with questions and answers on road laws, safe driving habits and general police practices.
Answers come from David Wright, a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now serving on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.
For previous Rules of the Road columns or to ask a question, go to bellinghamherald.com/traffic.