The Proper Position for Turning

Two Lane Left Turn Sign"Tell them that they need to be in the proper lane before they turn" says one reader. Equally important is the need to end up in the proper lane after the turn. Attention to detail here provides for a smooth flow of traffic and less chance of being involved in a collision.

The definition of roadway is important to this discussion. This is the portion of the highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for traffic, but does not include the shoulder. In the case of a paved highway, it is the portion between the lines, or in the case where there is no line on the right side, between the lines and the edges of the pavement.

Drivers intending to turn right at an intersection must approach and make the turn as close as possible to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway.

Drivers intending to turn left at an intersection must approach in the lane nearest to the center line keeping to the right of that line, turn to the left of the center of the intersection, and leave the intersection to the right of the center line.

Turns made to leave the highway at places other than an intersection require that the driver approach the turn in the same manner as turns made at intersections.

In all of the cases outlined above the driver will be in the first lane available to the intended direction of travel when the turn is completed. A common mistake made at the intersection of multi-laned highways is to turn directly into lanes other than those designated.

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left turns

Where in law does it say "In all of the cases outlined above the driver will be in the first lane available to the intended direction of travel when the turn is completed."?

My understanding was that, on a left turn from a 2 way road to a 2 way road, you can turn into any lane as long as you exit the intersection in that lane.


You are correct, if more than one lane at a multiple lane intersection are allowed to turn left, you turn out of and into the same lane. The traffic control devices at the intersection show you what to do.

Left turns

The only exception to this that I am aware of is for long vehicles such as busses or trucks pulling trailers, they are required to:

a) if there are two left turning lanes they must use the right most left turn lane.

b) if there is only one left turn lane but more than one lane on the road being turned on to they must turn into the second lane, allowing room for the back end of the vehicle to safely complete the turn and to position the vehicle in the right lane upon completion of the turn as this is the lane that larger vehicles should travel in. (This is taught in truck driving schools in BC, not all jurisdictions have this requirement)

Unfortunately, since most car drivers see professional drivers performing this required action they also think that it is ok for them to follow suit, and again another default is re-set.

Not what Section 165 says, though ...

... or doesn't say.

Only left turns into a one-way street specifically require finishing in the nearest available lane. And I'm honestly not certain that it's a specific requirement for large vehicles to use the outside lane of a pair of turning lanes, though it sure as heck makes sense, and is often the only practicable way to make the maneuver.

Bike lanes really mess this up.

When turning right when a bike lane exists, it gets dicey, especially if right turns are allowed on red lights.
Which is the proper procedure:
A) Stop if required, wait for any bikes, then turn across the bike lane?
B) Move over to occupy the bike lane, stop if necessary, and turn from there?

I've been doing B) if there is a broken line between the right hand vehicle land and the bike lane, and A) otherwise.

Cyclists will swear at you regardless, but it would be nice to know what the correct way to proceed might be.



All valid points worth adding to this. Burcam is right, it does depend on whether the line separating the bike lane is a solid one or not.

My thoughts are constrained by newspaper length of 250 - 300 words. I would imagine that it won't be far in the future that newspapers will either permit much more length because they are on line, or won't be a constraint because they no longer exist.

Either way as long as I don't run off at the keyboard, I'll be able to explain more fully when there are other considerations like this.

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