Q&A - Two Lane Right Turns on a Red Light

Q&A ImageI have a question regarding the legality of double right turns on a red light. My questions is based on a specific intersection in Vancouver, where Dunbar meets 16th Ave.

When turning right from Dunbar northbound to 16th eastbound, there is a double right turn signal. Is it legal to turn right on a red light from the middle (2nd from the right) lane? I see this happen all the time and have been screamed at for not doing so myself.

Comments

Answer

Both lanes are required to turn right at the intersection as you describe.

Red light

129 (1) Subject to subsection (2), when a red light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal, the driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection and facing the red light must cause it to stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, before entering the intersection, and subject to the provisions of subsection (3), must not cause the vehicle to proceed until a traffic control signal instructs the driver that he or she is permitted to do so.

(2) The driver of a bus approaching an intersection and facing a red light and a prescribed white rectangular indicator may cause the bus to proceed through the intersection.

(3) Despite subsection (1), and except when a right turn permitted by this subsection is prohibited by a sign at an intersection, the driver of a vehicle facing the red light, and which in obedience to it is stopped as closely as practicable to a marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, as closely as practicable to the intersection, may cause the vehicle to make a right turn, but the driver must yield the right of way to all pedestrians and vehicles lawfully proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection.

So, our right turn on red legislation does not restrict the turn only to the curb lane. It says that if you are allowed to turn right and you have stopped and yielded properly, you may turn right on the red signal if it is safe to do so.

Traffic in the left most right turn lane shown here may turn right on red just as the curb lane is allowed to.

I would also say that this would be a more risky turn as you have to yield to two lanes of cross traffic instead of just the usual one lane. Don't get prodded into making the turn by impatient drivers behind you honking their horns, but by the same token, unless there is an advantage to using the left lane, choosing to turn from the curb lane would be a choice that you could make.

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