Right Turn on Red

red light

If you have not commented on right turns at red lights you might want to consider it. I see so many people that fail to stop at a red light when turning right. They seem to feel that all they have to do is yield. Unless the rules have changed, it requires a full stop before turning.

The reader is correct. If you wish to turn right at an intersection where a red light is displayed you may do so if it is not prohibited by a sign. You must have come to a complete stop at the stop line, crosswalk or before interfering with cross traffic as the case may be and yielded to any cross traffic that might be present. Having done all of this, you may then turn right.

Beware, while this is allowed in British Columbia, it may not be the case in other states and provinces. Check the local rules before you attempt this elsewhere!

Is it any wonder that more than 50% of crashes in our province occur at an intersection? Drivers that fail to follow the rules to save time put us all at risk, especially if we are pedestrians.

Is it worth the couple of seconds saved if the action results in a collision? The possibilty of a "T-bone" is high in a case like this. I don't know about you, but my driver's door doesn't seem anywhere near strong enough to prevent another vehicle from intruding into the passenger compartment and causing significant injury to me.


Red Light at Intersection - Section 129 MVA


right turn on red

I believe only Quebec prohibits right turns on red.

To be candid, I don't really worry about people who fail to come to a full stop at stop signs, or before turning right on a red.

Here's why: when visiting the Netherlands 10 years ago, I discovered that stop signs are *only* used at intersections with sight line problems - where motorists have difficulty seeing clearly without coming to a full stop first. Otherwise, at non-signalized intersections, "yield" signs are used at least 95% of the time. There is no mayhem as a result.

I have concluded that, the law notwithstanding, failing to come to a full stop at a stop sign rarely constitutes an actual safety hazard. Additionally, I believe that 95% of stop signs are unnecessary to traffic safety and could reasonably be replaced with yield signs. This would save fuel, reduce emissions, and reduce tire and brake wear.

On edit - traffic circles or roundabouts are the ideal substitutes for stop signs and traffic lights, especially because they seem to greatly diminish the potential for severe collisions.

Further to that, do realize

Further to that, do realize that rolling slowly across a stop line without coming to a complete stop allows you to do so with your foot on the brake. This means you can stop nearly instantaneously, and any accidental movement is unlike to cause you to suddenly lurch into the intersection if you're still edging out to ensure that it's safe to proceed.

I have to disagree about roundabouts, solely because most of the traffic engineering of that sort I've seen in BC has been so poorly thought-out in terms of sight lines, maneuverability, etc., that allowing more of these ill-informed projects is a recipe for disaster. Having yield signs in place of stop signs, however, is an excellent suggestion, although it's likely to be taken as some sort of affront to pedestrians' rights by some reactionary individuals out there.

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