Residents anxious for help with roundabouts

Paul Keam wants to make sure Sicamous is ready for the Highway 97A roundabout

Sicamous resident Paul Keam would like to make sure the community is ready for the Highway 97A roundabout when it’s ready for the community.

A certified ICBC driving instructor, Keam had the idea of teaching a small group of seniors between the ages of 70 and 80 everything they need to know to successfully navigate a roundabout.

Because of a mishap, when information about the free course was posted on social media, it said it was open to the entire community. Soon after, Keam found himself with about 130 potential students wanting roundabout driver training.

“There’s no way you can instruct 121 people’s attention. It would be very hard,” said Keam.

Subsequently, the class was cancelled. However, with there being a clear and strong demand for instruction, Keam has decided to reach out to the local RCMP and the District of Sicamous for assistance in organizing multiple classes, with perhaps early morning classes for seniors and classes later in the afternoon for others. Each class would be open to a maximum of 15 students, and Keam said they might run a half-hour to 45 minutes.

Keam said a lot of seniors he’s spoken with are apprehensive about the new roundabout, which is why he initially thought to focus on helping them.

“I’ve got one, she’s from Great Britain,” said Keam. “She said, ‘I know how to do roundabouts.’ I said, ‘yeah, but here we do it on the wrong side of the road.’ And she said, ‘well that’s where I’m confused.’ And I said, ‘well, I’ll explain it to you.’”

One bit of instruction Keam will discuss is the proper use of a turning signal. He said when you enter a roundabout, you turn on your left-turn indicator.

“Let’s say you want to go to the third exit,” said Keam. “As soon as you come in, you turn your left indicator on to show traffic that’s waiting you’re still going to carry on around and you’re not going to turn. It’s just a safety thing basically…

“As soon as you’ve passed the last exit before yours, you turn it to the right side.”

The Eagle Valley News will provide dates and times for the roundabout driving instruction courses when the information becomes available.