Q&A - Yielding to Transit Buses

Q&A ImageI am a transit operator in the Central Okanagan. Can you please tell me how best to direct my concerns that British Columbia might not be communicating clearly enough to drivers the contents of Section 169.1?

It has been my experience that most drivers who fail to yield the right of way to transit vehicles appear to be from out-of-province.

Looking ahead to next year’s tourism season, I would like to express my concerns in a direct manner with someone who might be well suited to affect positive change.



I've never considered what rules other provinces might have in this regard and it looks like Ontario and Nova Scotia are the only ones that have followed BC's practice. Apparently Alberta looked at it but it has not yet been implemented.

The biggest problem that you face is likely the fact that there really isn't a simple and direct way of passing this message along, save for the back of your bus itself, and that is likely already full of a paid advertisement for someone else.

I am aware of some programs that did just this for the Slow Down, Move Over law. Some police paid for their own transparent rear window treatments to publicize the new law.

Perhaps you might approach your union and employer, likely through your workplace safety program to see what might be done?

Yield to the bus

Isn't it interesting how legislators gandy-dance around to find ways to re-instate "courtesy"?

Is it really that much of a problem?

Keeping in mind that Section 169 makes it incumbent on every driver to remain stationary unless moving their vehicle can be done safely - and that most of the time, drivers do in fact yield to buses as expected - I wonder how much difficulty is imposed on bus drivers wishing to re-enter the traffic flow by ignorant car drivers?

I'll tell you what I see, all too often - bus drivers who carelessly, and needlessly, turn on that left signal and start rolling without consideration of how this may affect traffic. They don't take the time to consider properly how close the vehicle(s) they want to pull out in front of may be, or at what rate of speed they're travelling.

While most transit drivers have learned to work with all the other road users in a symbiotic manner, those inconsiderate boors with a militant attitude shouldn't be allowed to hold a professional license.

In the course of my work, I often drive 24-passenger sized buses (and teach others how to do so) and even though they don't have the badging required to demand that other drivers yield to them when pulling away from the curb, most of the time they do so anyway  assoon as they notice my signal; the same thing applies to changing lanes, as well.

Work with other drivers, and they'll pretty much work with you, is how it works - even here in the intense traffic of the lower mainland.

left signalling bus

Turning on that left signal isn't needless or careless! Maybe where you are, most drivers will yield to a bus indicating their intention to leave a bus stop, but that's certainly not the case in the city of Vancouver. It's not unusual for a bus to have to wait for several vehicles to pass before one obeys the law. As long as it's done safely, rolling the bus forward a little is not a sign that the bus driver is an inconsiderate boor, but it does make it easier for other drivers to become aware the bus is trying to leave. Most of the time I wouldn't label the overtaking drivers who disregard the rules as inconsiderate boors. For the most part they either don't know they are supposed to yield, or if they do they are not thinking for themselves and are copying the behaviour of the vehicle they are following. 

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