Q&A - Passing on Single Solid Yellow Line

Q&A ImageQ: I was driving down Pinetree Way in Coquitlam, BC, and had a slow driver in front of me, maybe driving about 25 to 30 km/h. After passing intersection of Tanager Court, I passed the slow car since there was no other traffic on both sides and safe to do so. The slow car turned out to be an unmarked police vehicle and I was stopped right away.

The officer gave me two tickets, Speed in Municipality 146(1), and Lane Change Cross Solid Line 151(b) MVA.

At the end he said "I wanted to turn left on Cardinal Court and the reason I didn't and we didn't bump to each other is that I saw you on my blind spot."

My questions are:

  1. Can we pass a slow driver who is driving less than speed limit, even if crossing a single solid yellow line, with extreme caution?
  2. If this officer wanted to turn left, he should have had his signal on. How should I know what he wanted to do on next intersection?
  3. The section 151(b) doesn't apply in my case since there were not two or more marked lanes for us travelling in the same direction.

I am a professional driver having been taxi driver for more than 10 years and have been driving instructor for more than two years. I know about speeds, lines, etc.

This incident was more like a trap, as he was looking for a subject to issue a ticket. In my opinion he should have been given a ticket for his slow driving on a single lane traffic.

Now I am going to dispute the ticket but wanted to make sure about my situation and rights before going to court.

Comments

Answer

You are correct regarding the cross solid line count. Passing is permitted over a single solid yellow line if it is done safely. Section 155(1)(c) MVA is the rule for this situation. Section 151(b) governs solid lines between lanes with the same direction of travel.

If you exceeded the speed limit in order to pass, you would be guilty of the other count.

The officer should have been signalling for the left turn if that was his intent. It would have been interesting to know if the signal was working or not.

Slow driving can be an indication that unexpected behaviour - such as stopping or turning suddenly - is pending. You are also correct that there is an onus on them to look behind for overtaking traffic before turning left.

That said, slow driving is a valid strategy that is permitted if circumstances merit.

Entrapment is in the eyes of the beholder. Could be that you ran across a general duty officer trying to find a location to investigate a complaint and you just happened by too. Who knows?

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