Signs & Signals

Information regarding traffic signs and signals.

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!

Q&A - Right of Way at Signalized Intersection

Q&A ImageA car enters a 6-lane deep intersection on a green light with intentions to go straight through but the car in front of him stops mid-intersection and turns on it's left turn signal, causing the car behind to stop and wait. The light turns yellow and then red before the vehicle turning left is able to proceed. The car behind now must exit the intersection but the perpendicular lanes of traffic now have a green light.

Q&A - Stop Signs and Traffic Lights, Which to Obey?

Q&A ImageThere is a pedestrian controlled crosswalk at Vivian Street crossing 49th Avenue in Vancouver. For vehicle traffic trying to cross or turn there, there is a stop sign. Do I still have to obey the stop sign if I see that a pedestrian has turn the light red (i.e. all traffic on 49th is stopped)? Can I just go straight through?

Q&A - Using the Pedestrian Light to Proceed

Q&A ImageMy car was recently hit in an intersection, crossing it from east to west. I was crossing with the pedestrian light facing me (there is no traffic light facing me). The other driver, travelling from north to south ran the red light she had and hit me in the intersection.

Q&A - Minimum Speed Sign Spacing

Q&A ImageAre there regulations in BC’s motor vehicle laws that say how far apart speed limit signs have to be in order to properly inform the public as to what the speed limit is?

I have found a reference to this in Ontario by searching the internet, but not for BC so far.

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.

"Fail to obey traffic sign" Dispute Options

Q&A ImageI recently recieved ticket claiming a failure to obey traffic sign. No accident resulted, and this is my first ticket.

On the face of the ticket, the officer stated Sec. 161 of the MVA, but did not specify 161a/161b/161c or 161d.

Q&A - Flashing Yellow and Green Traffic Lights

Q&A ImageI'm a visitor from Virginia, and have been driving in the Vancouver area for a few times in the past. I have read the DriveSmartBC website information on flashing traffic lights but I still need some assistance: what is / are the difference(s) between a flashing yellow light and a flashing green light?

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