Q&A - Who Turns First at a Two Way Stop?

Q&A ImageQuestion: Two drivers are stopped on opposite sides of a through road. One is turning right, the other is turning left. Who turns first?

who turns first at a two way stop

Who Turns First

The Learn to Drive Smart manual from ICBC says this:

If two vehicles are stopped at a two-way stop and one of the drivers wants to turn left, this driver should yield the right-of-way to the other vehicle. The only exception is if the left-turning vehicle is already in the intersection and has started to make the turn. In this case, the other vehicle must yield.

Who Arrives First

The Motor Vehicle Act is more detailed, requiring that the decision must include who arrives at the stop sign first:

Yielding right of way on left turn

174 When a vehicle is in an intersection and its driver intends to turn left, the driver must yield the right of way to traffic approaching from the opposite direction that is in the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard, but having yielded and given a signal as required by sections 171 and 172, the driver may turn the vehicle to the left, and traffic approaching the intersection from the opposite direction must yield the right of way to the vehicle making the left turn.


If both vehicles stop at the same time or the right turn vehicle stops first, the right turn vehicle goes first.

If the left turn vehicle arrives at the stop sign first, the left turn vehicle goes first.

Caution is required from the left turn driver when applying this right of way rule. Many drivers do not believe that the left turning driver ever has the right of way and may not yield.

Related Article

The requirements for traffic approaching on the through road to yield to traffic at the stop signs are poorly understood by most drivers as well.

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