Q&A - Ticket Advice Request for Failing to Yield & Unsafe Lane Change
Q: I need advice to dispute two traffic tickets, Disobey Yield Sign - Section 173(2) MVA and Change Lane Unsafely - Section 151(a) MVA.
Here is what happened to me on Friday night:
There was heavy traffic waiting on Still Creek Avenue in Burnaby and I was waiting in it to turn onto Willingdon Avemue in a southbound direction. When it is my turn I (fully) stopped just about the pedestrian crossing line and then rolled forward a little bit to have a clear view. I saw there is one vehicle in the right lane just leaving the top of the bridge to my left. It was probably about 60 meters away (I measured it from Google Maps).
I quickly turned right, entering the curb lane. After I was on Willingdon, I changed one lane to my left as the curb lane is an HOV lane.
The lights were red at the Grandview Highway, so all the vehicles are waiting for it in the left lane and middle lane. I changed into the middle lane (not in a quick way) to avoid hitting the vehicle behind me on my left.
After I changed to the middle lane halfway (or even further, because I don’t think I blocked the HOV lane), the driver in the HOV lane vehicle honks at me.
I stopped at the middle lane to wait for the red light. About one second later the vehicle in the HOV lane vehicle passes me.
The vehicle stopped behind me turned out to be the police.
I was pulled over and given the two tickets, disobey yield sign and change lane unsafely.
The officer said because I cut into traffic and changed two lanes, I had made the lane change unsafely.
He also said because the driver honked at me, I had disobeyed the yield sign. I cannot see that I changed lanes unsafely, as the right lane is HOV. Once I entered the right lane, I changed to middle lane and there was no vehicle within a short distance behind me.
I don’t understand the ticket for disobey yield sign, as I did a fully stop at the stop sign. There is no yield sign at that intersection.
Thanks in advance!
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The first thing that you should do is request disclosure. That will tell you what you will be defending when you go to court.
I've read through your explanation and used Google Street View to travel through it virtually and I cannot see a yield sign anywhere. Unless appropriate circumstances show up in disclosure I cannot see that the count could be successfully prosecuted.
When you change lanes it is up to you to do it in a manner that does not affect traffic in any of the lanes around you:
While it is courteous to do so, there is no requirement that surrounding traffic accommodate your wishes. Disclosure should tell you what the officer saw as you affecting the travel of another vehicle and it can be discussed further after you obtain it.
You did mention turning into the reserved lane where you should not have. This sign is posted prior to the stop sign to advise that if you don't meet the criteria for using the reserved lane you must turn into the next available lane.
Question for the driver
What was your intended destination, that led you to heading south on Willingdon? Were you planning to head east on Hwy 1, or to turn right or left at Canada Way maybe?
Just trying to puzzle out how you apparently put yourself into positions of conflict with traffic on Willingdon.
Separately, with respect to the 'Disobey Yield Sign' ticket, I reckon that one will get thrown out if taken to court. I suspect that Section 175 may have been the relevant application of the law.
But you probably won't want to point that out to the police officer before going to court, as I believe they have the option of issuing a corrected ticket, our site host would know about this.
Hi, I am the one who asked the question.
I was heading south on Willingdon, and planning to head east on HWY 1.
Thanks for the clarity!
I'm well familiar with the area, and the traffic flow through there. Hadn't understood your Grandview Hwy reference.
There's a fair amount of roadway between the Still Creek Avenue intersection with Willingdon and the Eastbound on-ramp to Hwy 1, where the next traffic light exists (and can back up two lanes of traffic when it's heavy, for quite a distance back). For someone like myself (and zillions of others using these corridors, who are well familiar with the lane choices and decision points), it's relatively straighforward figuring out how to navigate this section. Pre-planning maneuvers can help - that's how the tanker trucks put themselves in the optimum left hand lane prior to Lougheed or Dawson, to end up in the right lane of the left turning pair of lanes into the eastbound
But the 'middle lane' is a through lane; it's not reasonable for anyone to jam it, as they try to squeeze over into the adjacent lane(s) to the left! And, of course, if you had gotten far enough across the concrete bridge section, there's a solid white line prohibiting the maneuver even if you do find a gap in traffic.
I'm not sure if you drive this route often, but if so I would suggest you consider a couple of alternative ideas. One would be to use Dawson or Lougheed as your point of access to Willingdon; this gives you much more time to facilitate the necessary lane changes to the left-most lane you'll need to be in for the turn into the eastbound on-ramp. The other would be to realize early on when you're thinking of attempting the impossible/illegal left-squeeze maneuver, the wiser and less-conflicted choice would be to commence the beginning of several right turns (Canada Way, maybe, or Sanderson Way a little further on) in order to eventually access the #1 eastbound from a different approach.
Strategy, is what it's about. Might take a little longer, but nobody needs the tickets - or collisions - caused by disobeying the rules and trying to get from A to B by the shortest possible route.