Q&A - Backing Out of a Driveway Across a Lane of Traffic?

Q&A ImageIs it legal to back out of a driveway across a lane of traffic?  I thought this wasn't legal but I can't find anything in the MVA.

... that the most relevant section of the MVA is 156:

If the driver of a vehicle is causing the vehicle to enter or leave a highway and the driver has ascertained that he or she might do so with safety and does so without unreasonably affecting the travel of another vehicle, the provisions of sections 151 and 155 are suspended with respect to the driver while the vehicle is entering or leaving the highway.

Otherwise, Section 193 provides a sort of 'catch all' answer to reversing questions; and without doubt, a driver who reverses into a collision will be held the most accountable.

Caution in backing vehicle

193  The driver of a vehicle must not cause the vehicle to move backwards into an intersection or over a crosswalk, and must not in any event or at any place cause a vehicle to move backwards unless the movement can be made in safety.

Personally, I think that drivers who make this maneuver need their heads examined - it makes far more sense to reverse into the driveway, so you can safely and easily (with proper forward & peripheral vision) exit later, in either direction.

The references are great and I agree that back-in drive-out is the preferred way and usually safer, but you need to think about specific details of each situation before throwing out comments about drivers needing their heads examining. Is the driveway on the right or the left? How much traffic and how many lanes? Is there Parking or is it no-stopping? If your driveway is on a busy no-stopping arterial road and you are in a stream of traffic, to position for reversing into a driveway on the right you must first drive beyond the driveway and stop, but typically cannot then reverse into the driveway because a string of vehicles has stopped too close behind you. The driver behind you will attempt to move around you before thinking of backing up.  You could put 4-ways on to warn drivers further behind you that you are not continuing but still have to wait a long time on the road blocking the lane until it's clear behind you. In my opinion it's safer to just drive into the driveway and spend a shorter time afterwards waiting in your driveway and/or shoulder for the road to be clear so you can back out safely, preferably into the curb lane and not across the road.  Canada Way going south-east uphill in Burnaby for example.  I am not going to take the time to look at reversing into a driveway if it's on the left.

On another note re driving over painted islands: Sadly the idea of continuing to the next left turn if a turn lane is full is not useful in much of Greater Vancouver. The next allowed left turn may be many intersections further away, go into a traffic-calmed neighbourhood, may not have any egress to your desired road,  you may do just as much "fouling" of a through lane, or the next left turn lane may be as overfull as the previous one. I don't know if this is frowned on or what else to do but I tend to crowd the cross-hatched median and maybe even trespass onto it just a little bit to minimize the tendency for the median and the traffic lane to be treated as two lanes by illegal overtakers. Left turn signals stand out a little more from other vehicles when the vehicle is a bit over to the left, and you don't have to be in the median. Of there will still be impatient drivers who pull out even onto the oncoming traffic lane to go around to get into the laft turn lane but what else can you do other than be aware of everything that's going on to avoid preventables.

All be it, backing a vehicle onto a roadway, one must be careful to make sure no vehicle is coming through.  But also a driver on the road seeing a vehicle backing out must also take caution and be prepared to stop at any time if need to be. If the vehicle was back out onto the street already and stalled, the on coming vehicle must be able stop or move into the other lane if possible and honk his horn.  What if this was a little kid running out onto the street?  You must be prepared to stop your vehicle.

We had an incident here in Nanaimo back in August not far from my place, a vehicle was  backed out of a driveway and was hit by a vehicle coming down the road.  A collision occurred, fortunetly no one was hurt.  But the vehicle coming down the road was found to be speeding.  So then what?  I would say both are at fault.

I've always found it easier and smarter to stop traffic while in the traffic and back off the road than to try and stop traffic to back onto the road. 9 times out of 10 you know what is in your driveway when you back into it, 10 times out of 10 you are backing into the unknown when backing onto a road.