Q&A - Turning Right & Blocking Traffic

Q&A ImageQ: I run into this issue constantly; where drivers leaving a shopping center parking lot think it's OK to make a right hand turn while traffic has backed up at a red light, but only complete that turn half way thereby blocking the ability of those using the right hand turning lane at the next intersection (starts right after the exit from the parking lot) to use that lane.

It also blocks cyclists from using the right hand side of the road because the driver is basically at a 45 degree angle with the lane they're trying to enter (to proceed straight through, or turn left at the next intersection).



Here is my article about blocking an intersection, and this is an intersection:

"intersection" means the area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curb lines, or if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of the 2 highways that join one another at or approximately at right angles, or the area within which vehicles travelling on different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict;

I suspect that drivers turn like this to assert their queue position in traffic. They don't want to wait at the parking lot exit as the rest of the world files by instead of letting them in.

Why would you let them in? Section 175 of the Motor Vehicle Act may require you to.

Good point about the cyclists. They could pass by to the right of stopped traffic here legally if not blocked as you descriibe, even though a car would not fit.

Disagree with most points and responses

From the description and photo provided, if the emerging vehicle could not complete its turn, any through vehicles or cyclists could not access the right turn lane up ahead without passing other stopped through vehicles on the right.  That would be illegal.

S. 175 only further limits the opportunity for anyone in the through lane.  If the emerging vehicle only barely crossed the threashold of the roadway and stopped, thereby invoking through vehicles obligation to yield, this obligation would ALSO apply to vehicles intending to access the right turn lane that begins further on.  So the point is somewhat moot from a legal perspective.  I do agree that most drivers likely pull as far in as possible to assert their position. Most of us have learned from experience that many drivers will NOT yield in these circumstances even though they would  required to do so.

As for cyclists passing stopped traffic on the right:  In BC there is no provision or privilege granted to cyclists to do this.  They must follow the same rules as other vehicles in this regard.  Although cyclists frequently do pass stopped traffic on the right, to do so is as much illegal for them as it is for motor vehicles.  The BC Court of Appeal has confirmed this.


You are most welcome to cite the Court of Appeal decision that you refer to.

A direct request vs the

A direct request vs the passive aggressive language used would have been more appropriate.  He is the citation:

From CanlII:

Ormiston vs. ICBC 2014 BCCA 276

Good Point

If the vehicle being passed was not signaling for / making a left turn, then the cyclist could not pass on the right.

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