Q&A - Shoulder Delineator Prevents Pulling Over
QUESTION: I am concerned about the delineators that have been added to both sides of 96th Avenue in Langley. I recently witnessed a situation where an emergency vehicle was stuck behind heavy traffic that was unable to pull over to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. What is the point in this? How are the drivers supposed to react under these circumstances?
96 Avenue East of 208 Street, Langley
ANSWER: Here is the driver's duty as set out in the Motor Vehicle Act:
Approach of Emergency Vehicle
177 On the immediate approach of an emergency vehicle giving an audible signal by a bell, siren or exhaust whistle, and showing a visible flashing red light, except when otherwise directed by a peace officer, a driver must yield the right of way, and immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the nearest edge or curb of the roadway, clear of an intersection, and stop and remain in that position until the emergency vehicle has passed.
It requires a driver to pull over to the edge or curb of the roadway, which in this case is the area between the yellow centre lines and the solid white line to the right. One would like to hope that drivers travelling in both directions are paying attention and stop, leaving enough room for the emergency vehicle to have a gap to drive through.
These delineators are designed to withstand being driven over if it is not possible to drive between them at low speeds. The picture's perspective makes it appear that this might be difficult, but the posts are plastic and your vehicle is more likely to damage them than they are your vehicle. If necessary, that is what you should do to make way for emergency vehicles.
The Langley Township engineering department advises this is a pilot project and the delineators were placed to protect vulnerable road users. The fire department and regional transit were consulted prior to the implementation of the pilot.
The delineators are placed 6m apart and that spacing will allow light vehicles to drive between them to reach the shoulder. They confirm that the delineators may be driven over at low speed and no damage should result to either the vehicle or the delineator.
As a result of feedback received, some delineators have been removed at regular intervals to create a space for vehicles to move onto the shoulder if circumstances require it. You can leave your own feedback on the project via the Langley Township website.