U-Turns

No U Turn SignI never know what I am going to receive in my e-mail regarding this column. Recently it was a tongue in cheek request to save a marriage by settling the question of U-turns between husband and wife. Neither one of them realized that there are really very few places in British Columbia where a driver can make a U-turn legally.

First of all, if there is any type of line painted down the center of the highway one must not make a U-turn over it. It doesn't matter if it is double solid, single solid, solid and broken or a single broken line. Only the complete absence of a line allows the maneuver, subject to other limitations.

Next, a U-turn must not be made where visibility is limited or it would be unsafe to do so. This would include places like on a curve or at the approach to a hillcrest. U-turns are forbidden in a business district unless the turn is made at an intersection without traffic lights. However, the general prohibition of a U-turn at any intersection with traffic lights doesn't apply if there is a sign posted by the municipality permitting the action.

Finally, we've mentioned municipalities, and they are allowed to regulate U-turns within their boundaries through a bylaw. These bylaws can range from what has been outlined here to a total prohibition. This just adds to the difficulty because bylaws change from municipality to municipality. It's beginning to look like the best way to turn and go in the other direction is by going around the block!

References:

Definition of Business District - Section 119 MVA
Highway Lines - Section 155 MVA
Reverse Turns - Section 168 MVA

Comments

U-Turn Collision

Thanks for posting this up, I'm in a situation with ICBC having determined the driver of my car was 50% at fault in a collision and I'm trying to argue againt it. These links are the relevant sections I think, that suggest that a vehicle driving down a narrow street in a business district such as downtown Vancouver cannot legally do a u-turn to get into a car park on the other side of the road.

We were reversing a couple of meters to allow the car in front of us to reverse into a carpark, when another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction tried to do a quick u-turn to get into the same parking spot, colliding with the rear of our vehicle at 90 degrees to the traffic direction.

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