PODCAST: Quebec Ranty Man on Driving in Quebec

PODCAST: Quebec Ranty Man on Driving in Quebec

Let us introduce you to Job Patstone.

He’s a quiet, unassuming man, a family man, a man of principle, and someone who from time to time gets a bee in his bonnet about something or other.

He likes to have a rant about all manner of things that really get his goat. Usually he rants to himself, or to anyone who might be within earshot at the time.

This time the target of his ire is driving in Quebec.

Do you drive in Quebec?
Have you driven on Quebec roads?
Is he right?

We’ll let you decide…

Driving in Quebec

The first thing you need to know about driving in Quebec is that there are basically only three rules that need to be adhered to:

1. You are obliged to stop at a red light, if you do not and someone reports you, or you’re caught on camera, you will be given a ticket and a fine. Stopping at stop signs or crosswalks however is optional and needs to be acted upon only, if there is someone around, or if there is actually somebody on a crosswalk that you absolutely cannot avoid without damaging your car.

2. You must proceed on a green light and you must do so quickly, otherwise you will be called upon to do so by one or several drivers behind you honking their horns, because according to them, if you don’t accelerate the split second the light turns green, either you have fallen asleep or have died at the wheel. The yellow lights between the red and green, although pretty, have no significant application.

3. Do not speed. Quebec has now installed hidden cameras along the highways and byways and has discovered that municipalities can actually make money from distributing speeding tickets.

Drinking and driving is frowned upon and is also illegal, however, no one is going to stop you, as road blocks are non-existent and since everyone does it, and it’s accepted by the general population all of whom hope to get home safely after binging, without hitting or killing anyone, unfortunately however, these type of accidents do occasionally happen.

Texting or using a cell phone while driving is also discouraged and once again is illegal but, as explained in the previous paragraph concerning driving while intoxicated, since everyone does it, it’s not really an issue.

Anything about courtesy or respect to other drivers or pedestrians is not a required condition when driving in the province. Being aggressive behind the wheel is encouraged and, it is also important to remember, that you and only you have a destination that is worth reaching. Everyone else on the road either doesn’t know where they are or where they’re headed, and are certainly not in a hurry to get there like you are.

Someone desirous to change lanes on a highway in order to take a prescribed exit should prepare to do so about 10 kilometres before the exit, because even with your flasher on, nobody is going to let you do so.

Changing lanes is a stressful and difficult manoeuvre and must be acted upon at the first chance there is a car-length space to your right, available.

It is also highly recommended to prepare a second exit ramp, further down the road in case you miss the one you had planned on taking, which you probably will. The same one-car length applies when trying to enter a roadway from a ramp where unfortunately you do not have the advantage of preparing 10 km in advance. Like the yellow light, a “yield” sign has no specific purpose.

Several years ago the province introduced a law allowing right turns on a red light at certain intersections which for most drivers now appears to have eliminated the first law requiring one to stop at a red light at all, if indeed you want to make a right turn.

So defensive drivers take note, the only defence-related driving you’ll need in Quebec is to avoid the offensive vehicles which can pop-up anywhere at anytime along your route.

It’s all about destination and how to get there. That’s all that counts.

Happy Motoring!

Job Patstone, critic of everything.

Listen to more from Quebec Ranty Man.

Categories: Opinion, Podcast

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

Write a Comment

Only registered users can comment.