Stopping in the middle of a lane change


I notice a habit of Vancouver drivers is that when they are turning right, and the right hand lane is used for parking and/or cycling, they will casually pull halfway into the right-hand lane and then stop (either for a red light, or to yield to a crosswalk).

Even the 3rd or 4th car in a lineup waiting to turn right will do this: stopping on the dashed line.

I know it is illegal to stop inside of an intersection. Is there any law, precedent, or authoritative safety recommendation about stopping in the middle of a lane change?

In a word, no - there is no such law, precedent, etc.

Lane changing is covered in Section 151 (driving in laned traffic) of the MVA. If stopping during the lane change is necessary (such as to avoid colliding with a stopped vehicle or other traffic ahead in that lane) then obviously a driver should do so.

But it's worth noting this bit:

(e) when approaching an intersection intending to turn right must drive the vehicle in the lane nearest to the right hand side of the roadway,

Far too many drivers are lazy/sloppy with their vehicle positioning, and make a minimal effort with their steering in order to get properly into the lane before turning. This all too often, and unnecessarily, blocks traffic in the lane they're leaving from proceeding on its way.

This whole area is better covered by Section 165, which governs turn positioning. Essentially, a driver is required to be adjacent to the edge of the roadway prior to the turn. Probably the worst miscreants are those turning left from a one-way street; they will often jam everything behind them as they wait for the pedestrians to clear, simply because they didn't bother setting up for the turn properly and legally.

I know it is illegal to stop inside of an intersection.

You may think you 'know' this, but actually it ain't so. Take a look at Section 189 (when stopping prohibited), particularly the beginning:

Except when necessary to avoid conflict with traffic or to comply with the law

The fact is, to avoid conflict with pedestrians, drivers frequently have to stop in an intersection; left-turning vehicles also having to avoid conflict with oncoming traffic, of course.

From interest, what has triggered your inquiry? Have you been involved in a collision, or are you just frustrated by the lack of traffic flow downtown perhaps?

The laws do exist to enable/encourage traffic flow. Unfortunately, there's little useful policing going on. This has led to pedestrians continuing to enter the crosswalks long after the 'Don't Walk' signal has turned on (totally illegal, totally screws up everybody else) and drivers making little effort to get out of the way when waiting to complete a turn.


Google Ads