RightHandDrive.ca/blog Canadian Right Hand Drive News and Thoughts


Right Hand Drives on The Big Screen, Volume 2

I've found a few more 'mixed drive' shots of right-hand drive cars, as an extension of Right Hand Drives on the Big Screen from a while ago. The rules are that the car must be a right-hand drive in left-hand drive traffic.

Darkwing Duck (that people of a certain age will be all misty-eyed over) has a motorcycle that magically changes from LHD to RHD. It's either a mistake, or just looked better that way for these shots. It's 'wrong' in all but one of the shots it's in.

And finally, Arrested Development in the episode 'For British Eyes Only'. Canadian actor Dave Thomas pulls up beside Michael (who is driving the stair truck) and starts making hand signals at him after Michael's time in 'Little Britain' (which drives on the left side of the road, despite the fact it's in America).

I believe he's dring a Triumph, but I could be corrected on that. It's something British, at any rate... and probably lives in LA somewhere. So, hypothetically it's 25 years old or older.

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Conversation with an MLA about Grey Market Vehicles

I've replied to the message from an MLA that I got a while ago that was in response to my open letter to the government of Manitoba. I thought I would share it with everyone, as I think it is quite good.

It took me a while to get back to them. I feel that the MLA was trying to shrug me off, and it took me a while to decide whether or not Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is the place to bring this up or not. I've decided it's not. Laws are changed by lawmakers. MPI carries out the law, the legislature makes the laws... so I've decided to go to the source. As I say in the letter, I believe that MPI should be a voice in the conversation... but MPI alone does not have the power to make the changes I'd like to see.

My prediction: wait a month or two for a response. I can't really judge since I took about that long to respond to their email.

Without further adieu:

Mr McNeil,

First of all, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate the time you took to respond to my email. I apologize for the time it has taken me to get back to you.

Though MPI administers the law, the legislature makes the laws. I agree that MPI is a stakeholder and should be an active member in the conversation about changes to any vehicle safety standards, but the changes must take place at a higher level. I have had a meeting with some MPI staff, and they have been very helpful answering my questions and meeting with me, but I feel that these changes are beyond their jurisdiction.

But, the problem as I see it is that Manitoba is falling behind the times in terms of vehicle safety. The world is getting smaller, and it is becoming easier for regular folk to import the cars of their dreams from other countries. I don't see this as a passing fad, and I believe that it should be looked at and handled sooner rather than later.

The most important part of the argument is that it is absurd and archaic that ECE coded (e-coded) lighting is not accepted in Manitoba. This is a world standard that has been accepted in the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-regulations/regulations-crc-c1038-sch-iv-108.1.htm), and a precedent has been set by allowing vehicles such as Mercedes Benz into the country, as they have no DOT markings, but only ECE markings. Clearly proper e-codes for left-hand drive countries must be marked on the headlights, but all ECE markings should be accepted for non-headlight lighting.

Accepting ECE markings will not make the vehicles less safe, and bring Manitoba up to the world standard for safety.

ICBC, the public insurer for British Columbia has already implemented some of these changes, including accepting JIS (Japanese standards) to the fold. Accepting national standards from other 1st world countries makes sense in this which is getting smaller. I understand that not every vehicle should be permitted on Manitoban roads (the autorickshaw from India comes to mind), but accepting other-national standards for imported cars (15 years or older) makes sense for this ever-shrinking world.

I've attached my full technical document again for your perusal, as I believe it outlines my argument well.

Thank you again for your time.

Robert Guderian


My Import Story, A Summary

If you've been reading through my import story, you might be overwhelmed. Initially, its pretty frightening to say, "I'm going to buy a car that's on a different continent." And it probably should be.

In the end it's simple... well, simple enough. Here's the quick breakdown.

  1. Know what you want to buy, and how much you're willing to pay.
  2. Find an importer you like.
  3. Buy a car
  4. Pay for the car
  5. Ship the car
  6. Wait
  7. Wait
  8. Wait
  9. Clear the car through customs (probably with help)
  10. Drive the car home (don't forget temp insurance!)
  11. OOP/Safety your car
  12. Register your car

The end! The devil is really in the details. But for the best part, you deal with the problems as they come along.

Would I do it again? Heck yes. I still want a SWB Pajero TD and now I want a Suzuki Alto Works (badass kei car!), and I'll very likely get another minitruck one day. They're too useful to not have!

Importing is like getting a tattoo. It's really scary the first time, but you want to do it again as soon as possible.