Toronto Star

Using turn lanes to pass not always illegal

- Eric Lai

If someone uses a marked right or left turn lane to skip ahead of traffic, then merges back into a through-lane within the intersecti­on, can they be charged? There must be official signage designatin­g a right/left turn lane, not just pavement markings, in order to lay a disobey lane sign charge under S. 154(1)(c) HTA.

However, such questionab­le driving practices could result in charges if a collision occurs.

For example, if a crash results when passing and merging to skip ahead of traffic, possible charges include unsafe/improper lane change, drive off roadway (if using the shoulder), and careless driving. Retired Toronto Police Sgt. Al Verwey adds: I agree with your analysis regarding turning lane scofflaws. No signs equals no charge, unless the driving gets to the point of being unsafe or dangerous.

Unfortunat­ely, this is just one of many selfish driving behaviours that the HTA doesn’t adequately provide for.

How early can you buy your plate renewal sticker?

MTO advises that you don’t have to wait until you receive the renewal notice in the mail.

A new validation sticker can be purchased up to 180 days in advance of the plate expiry date.

This allows Snowbirds, for example, to renew their plates beforehand rather than have them expire while away from home.

Have you tried any “brushless” power tools?

Brushless tools are the new top-of-the-line trend in the consumer cordless tool segment.

They offer more power, longer battery run time and extended motor life.

Do brushless tools deliver on those promises?

My mechanic says yes, after putting two brushless tools through a month of daily shop usage.

The M18 Milwaukee quarterinc­h impact driver ($249 full kit) claims to outperform all leading competitor­s.

“It was the most used tool in the shop,” reports Harold Lall of Super-Tech Auto Repair in Richmond Hill. “It’s so strong (up to 150 ft-lbs) and convenient that no one wanted to use the old air tools anymore, with dragging air lines, for removing nuts, bolts and screws.”

The DeWalt 20-volt max brushless half-inch impact driver ($309 bare tool; $549 full kit) has 700 ft-lbs max torque and 1,200 ft-lbs max breakaway torque.

It easily removed even stubborn lug nuts — which prior tested tools often couldn’t — and could also reinstall lug nuts to proper torque, which surprised the testers. This pro tool is handy, both in the shop and for a roadside emergency. Freelance writer Eric Lai is a regular contributo­r to Toronto Star Wheels. Email your non-mechanical questions to him at Due to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.

 ?? DREAMSTIME ?? Unfortunat­ely, pavement markings aren’t enough to make it illegal to use a turning lane for passing traffic.
DREAMSTIME Unfortunat­ely, pavement markings aren’t enough to make it illegal to use a turning lane for passing traffic.
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