Signs & Signals

Information regarding traffic signs and signals.

The Invisible Pedestrian

Walk SignalOn a morning walk I found myself facing a young woman across a busy intersection while we waited for the traffic signal to change. She was facing me but keeping an eye on the van waiting beside her at the red light signalling a right turn. As I watched the situation unfold I was impressed with this woman's street smarts.

Red Means Stop, But Not Always Stay

Red Traffic SignalHere's an interesting question from the DriveSmartBC inbox: There is a mid-block pedestrian controlled traffic light in our neighborhood and drivers frequently proceed through it after stopping if no one is in the crosswalk. Is this legal?

Q&A - Bicycles & Lane Use Signs

Q&A ImageEastbound 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 - Make Drivers Stop for Red Lights

VideoHere is another video from Road Guy Rob who explains about how engineering improvements can reduce the number of drivers who fail to stop for red lights through inattention or error.

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.

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