Intersections

Information related to intersections.

Q&A - Driver Right of Way Over Pedestrians

Q&A ImageQ: I live in quiet little Summerland. Our busiest intersection is a T-junction complete with 3 cross walks. Traffic usually proceeds through that T junction at a very slow pace. It is very common to see pedestrians step out into a crosswalk without paying attention to vehicular traffic currently in the intersection.

Stop Signs & Red Lights, Honk, Honk, Honk!

Stop Sign"I almost lost my life at West Fourth and Blenheim in Vancouver this morning" reported a DriveSmartBC Twitter follower. "I was turning left. The traffic lights were red for the traffic on Fourth. I stopped for the stop sign on Blenheim, then moved into the intersection to make my turn. The vehicle approaching me from the opposite direction was speeding and didn't even slow down for the stop sign. She went straight through!"

Close Call at the Crosswalk

Walk SignalA pedestrian pushing a child in a stroller and the driver of a van approach an intersection controlled by a traffic light with a pedestrian signal. Both the traffic light and the pedestrian signal are red. The driver is in the lane next to the pedestrian who arrives at the cross street and stops seconds before the driver arrives at the stop line.

CASE LAW - Heuring v Smith

BC Courts Coat of ArmsDouglas Heuring was riding his bicycle eastbound on 13 street approaching Grand Boulevard East in North Vancouver, B.C. He stopped for the stop sign about 10 feet back from the marked stop line at the intersection. He saw a truck being driven northbound by Erik Smith slowing down as it approached the 4 way stop.

I'll Meet You in the Middle!

Yield SignDriving behaviour is a never ending curiosity for me, so when I heard a conversation about the intersection of Haslam and Adshead Roads south of Nanaimo I had to take a look. The gist of the story was that most drivers seemed to treat this Y shaped intersection as being uncontrolled and zoomed through it as if the rest of the world was going to stop for them. The sentiment was expressed that it is only a matter of time before a serious crash occurred there.

CASE LAW - Eller v British Columbia (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

BC Courts Coat of ArmsWilliam Eller represented the Aspen Road Community's interests in this action against the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure's (MOTI) proposed changes to the Malahat Highway intersection serving their area. The action was taken because the residents felt that the MOTI failed to incorporate their concerns into the improvement project. An injunction was requested to prevent the changes being made until the safest design for the affected area was determined in full consultation with the residents.

VIDEO - How to Use a Bike Box

video iconThis video from the City of Victoria explains how to use bike boxes associated with the city's new protected cycling lanes from a cyclist's point of view. It is worthwhile viewing for drivers as it shows the movements of the cyclist at the intersection. Some movements by the cyclist may be unexpected in terms of what we are used to prior to the advent of the bike box and they are worthwhile encountering here first to avoid confusion on the road.

CASE LAW - Trytko v Kafafi

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis case involves the determination of liability for a two vehicle collision in a traffic circle (referred to as a roundabout in the decision) at the intersection of Jervis Street and Nelson Street in Vancouver. Carrie Trytko was driving northbound on Jervis Street and entered the traffic circle after yielding to traffic approaching from her left. Once in the circle she observed Merdahd Kafafi approaching from her right. The court found that Mr. Kafafi failed to slow as he entered the circle and the two vehicles collided.

Round and Round the Roundabout

Traffic CircleRoundabouts and traffic circles are not new to British Columbia, but if the complaints in my inbox are any indication, they are still totally mystifying to some drivers. Common issues include bulldozing into the circle without yielding, signalling when there is no need, not signalling when there is a need, and yes, going around them in the wrong direction.

Most e-mails observe that while new drivers may be taught how to use these intersections properly, the rest of us have to figure it out on our own and somebody has to clue us in. In general, fingers point to either the provincial government or ICBC having primary responsibility for this task. I disagree. Basic responsibility for keeping driving skills up to date rest with the individual driver.

Make Way to Give Way

AmbulanceSirens! I'm being overtaken by an ambulance on the way to a call. Signal, move out of the right lane onto the shoulder and stop. Traffic around me seems to be well aware today too as they are doing much the same thing.

Emergency right of way is being granted promptly until the ambulance reaches traffic stopped for a red light at an intersection. This is where the emergency response grinds to a halt as the stationary drivers don't seem to be either willing or able to get out of the way.

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