Right of Way
Right of way, means the privilege of the immediate use of the highway over other users. We often speak of it, but do we really know what it means in relation to our driving? It is crucial that drivers know and follow the right of way rules to avoid conflict and collision.
Part 3 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which sets out the rules for vehicle and pedestrian movement, contains 35 references to the phrase "right of way." The majority of them relate to intersections controlled by traffic signals. They specify who goes first in various situations and generally grant priority to pedestrians over all vehicles, if the pedestrian is following the pedestrian rules properly. These rules must be learned when you start to drive and kept in mind to be followed thereafter.
In places on the highway that are not controlled by a sign, signal or other marking, we generally must yield to the traffic on our right. In the case of an uncontrolled intersection the fact that one way is more heavily travelled or a straighter path does not grant right of way over the yield to the right concept.
There are special circumstances mentioned in this part as well. Yielding to emergency vehicles and buses displaying the yield sign in areas with speed limits of 60 km/h or less are two common situations.
Learn to Drive Smart, B.C.'s Safe Driving Guide devotes 4 pages to explaining right of way in chapter 4. The guide is available for free at any Driver Service Center in province. Pick one up and refresh your skills today. Knowing when to go and when to yield the right of way to others will keep us all safe on the highways.
- Chapter 4 - Learn to Drive Smart