Signs & Signals

Information regarding traffic signs and signals.

Merging Traffic

Right Lane Ends Ahead SignOne correspondent observed that "It seems that drivers in BC generally have a big problem when it comes to merging. In this case let's say from two lanes to one. In the normal course of events merging shouldn't be any hassle at all - take turns, one from the left then one from the right - it all moves along nicely, and has a minimal effect on holding up traffic. Not in BC! Here it appears to be everyone for him / herself."

VIDEO - Can Stop Lights Work for Bicycles?

VideoHere is another video from Road Guy Rob. This time he observes that crossing the street on your bike should be easy and safe.  There are stop lights to help you, but they also invite cars onto your bike route.  Engineers in Tucson, Arizona solve this dilemma with two special signals just for bicycles: Toucans and BikeHAWKs.

Parking, Stopping or Standing - What's the Difference?

no parking signParking, stopping or standing, what's the difference and why is it important to you as a driver? Recognizing these road signs and knowing what is allowed and what isn't with regard to these three situations can mean the difference between your convenience and being ticketed and towed for ignoring or mistaking them.

Q&A - I Need Pedestrian Controlled Signal Data

Q&A ImageQUESTION: I was involved in a collision at West 59th Avenue and Oak Street in Vancouver. Would you would be able to direct me to the appropriate source to retrieve data from that specific traffic light? If possible, the information I am seeking pertains to whether or not that pedestrian controlled traffic signal was red, yellow, or green light on a particular date and time.

RESOURCE - Bicycle Signal Resource Hub

ITE LogoThe Institute of Transportation Engineers is a North American body that develops technical resources including standards and recommended practices used in our road designs. One of their newest resources aims to assist transportation professionals in the planning, design, and operation of bicycle traffic signals. It is available to the public as well, so if you are curious about what could be done to develop the cycling route you use, the site offers plenty of information.

Flashing Traffic Signals

Traffic Signal Warning SignA motorist will encounter three types of flashing traffic signals, red, yellow and green. Learn to Drive Smart, BC's Safe Driving Guide gives examples of each situation on page 37, but the law set out in the Motor Vehicle Act is more descriptive. Let's examine each case and see what is required.

Q&A - Straight Through for Bicycles Only

CyclistQUESTION: Eastbound on Point Grey at Alma there are two bike lanes on the north side of the street that are allowed to cross Alma without stopping. Cars eastbound on Point Grey must turn either right or left, and there is a curb/diverter on the far side to prevent them going straight through.

Cars northbound on Alma face a stop sign, and one option is to turn right through the diverter.

VIDEO - Why the Dutch Wait Less at Traffic Lights

VideoThe description of this video showing how traffic lights work in Holland explains that they are designed and timed to move the most traffic of all kinds, not the most motor vehicles.

VIDEO - How do Stop Lights Know to Turn Green?

VideoHave you ever watched a driver waiting in vain for the traffic light to turn green because they failed to stop properly at an intersection? In most parts of BC signals respond to inductive loops buried in the pavement to sense the presence of your vehicle. An understanding of how they work can prevent you from being stuck.

Q&A - Cyclist Failed to Yield

Yield to Bicycles SignQuestion: I was driving at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and the Cambie Street on ramp in Vancouver. I turned right on a green light to head onto Cambie Street. I did not have to yield to any pedestrians as they were being held by the pedestrian signal. I moved about 20 feet into turn and my car was struck on the passenger side by a bicyle rider doing full speed.

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