Right Turns Over Cycle Lanes
It seems appropriate to write an article on cycling as we are in the middle of May 27 to 31, 2013 which is Bike to Work Week. A topic in the DriveSmartBC Forum this week highlights a dangerous situation that is well worth discussing, vehicles making right turns across cycle lanes. Drivers may not understand the duties required of them by the lines painted on the roadway.
In the situation described in the forum, the bicycle lane is marked with a single solid white line right up to the intersection. This requires drivers to approach the intersection for a right turn remaining to the left of the bicycle lane at all times. The turn is initiated after entering the intersection and making sure that no cyclists are affected.
Beware! Cyclists in the bicycle lane have lawful authority to pass by on the right of an overtaken or waiting vehicle because there is a clear lane on the right of the vehicle for the cyclist to use. The use of mirrors and shoulder checks by the motorist cannot be emphasized enough in this situation!
Where there is a broken line marking the cycle lane at the approach to the intersection the driver may move over to the curb into the cycle lane prior to making the right turn in the way that most people are used to. Drivers doing so are making a lane change and must yield to cycle traffic in the bicycle lane before moving over! In this situation, the cyclist must wait behind the vehicle until after the turn is made to clear the cycle lane.