Signs & Signals

Information regarding traffic signs and signals.

NEWS - Pilot Car Load Movement Guidelines

Pink Road Work Ahead SignThe Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced the implementation of Pilot Car Load Movement Guidelines to regulate the safe movement of oversize vehicles on B.C.'s highways. Part of the Traffic Management Manual for Work on Highways, it also describes new temporary signs with a fluorescent pink background to warn of an emergency situation. In this case an example might be an overwidth load stopped so that it obstructed a lane of travel. It would be up to the pilot car operator to place the sign appropriately to warn approaching traffic.

Priority for Emergency Vehicles at Traffic Lights

Traffic & Emergency SignalsWhen you need the services of firefighters or paramedics seconds can seem like hours. Sooner is always better in situations like this so some traffic lights are equipped with sensors that listen for sirens and change the signals to make way for emergency vehicles. Not knowing what the priority signal lights meant led one driver to make a choice that could have resulted in a collision in a Ladysmith intersection.

Prepare to Stop When Lights are Flashing

Flashing Yellow Advance Warning SignWhen my father-in-law from Quebec visited us here in B.C. years ago he was impressed with the idea of the overhead sign with flashing amber lights marked Prepare to Stop prior to signalized intersections. He thought that these signs made it much easier for the driver to prepare for a safe stop in advance of the signal changing to red. At that time this type of signal was not used where he lived.

Give Me a Sign

Two Lane Left Turn SignDuring one of my Elder College presentations I work through a module on traffic signs and lane markings with the students. Driving examiners tell me that this is one area that older drivers have trouble with if they are called in for a re-examination. Based on discussions in the forum on the DriveSmartBC web site I can truthfully say that older drivers are not the only ones having difficulty with signs.

Consider the Simple Traffic Sign

Pedestrian CrossingConsider the simple traffic sign or signal.  It stands by the side of the highway doing it’s job regardless of the season.  We rely on it to tell us when to stop, how fast to go, which way to turn or whether we can travel in a certain direction as well as many other controlling functions. This is a reliance that we might not consider until we run into trouble because it is lacking.

A Green Light Doesn't Always Mean Go

Green LightThe next time you are at the front of the lineup waiting for the signal to turn green, watch the driver beside you. Many times when the traffic signal turns green they will immediately proceed without looking to the left or right for hazards or traffic already lawfully in the intersection. A green light doesn't always mean go.

CASE LAW - R v Shymanski

BC Courts Coat of ArmsMr. Victor Shymanski was charged with disobeying a traffic control device after he drove his commercial vehicle past a regulatory sign requiring him to stop and check his brakes. He was convicted at trial. Subsequent to that he applied for Charter relief, claiming that his rights under section 7 had been violated because a ticket for a violation of the Traffic Control Device Regulation under section 125 of the Motor Vehicle Act is vague and unenforceable. This case is the resolution of the requested relief.

Bicycle Lanes, Signs and Markings

Bike Route SignA reader from Vancouver asked me where the rules came from for bicycle lanes and signs as they could not be found in the provincial driving manual, Learn to Drive Smart. Included in the e-mail was a link to the City of Vancouver's web site which showed a collection of signs and markings that are now in use on the city streets there. I didn't think that this was going to be a tough question!

A Yellow Traffic Light Means Stop

Yellow Traffic LightBelieve it or not, in British Columbia a yellow traffic light tells you that you must stop before you enter the intersection! Yes, I know that there is one caveat to that statement, and it is "unless the stop cannot be made in safety." The onus is on the driver that does not stop for the yellow light to show that it was unsafe if they are involved in court proceedings because of their decision.

Speed Contrary to an Area Sign

Speed Area SignAs a knowledgeable driver you are aware of the three blanket speed limits that cover the whole province of British Columbia. These limits are 80 km/h outside a municipality, 50 km/h in a municipality and 20 km/h on a municipal lane. There is one more method of setting a smaller blanket speed zone and that is through the use of an area sign.

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