Information related to turning a vehicle.

Turning at Intersections

IntersectionIntersections are dangerous places. Yielding right of way is probably the main concern, but the path you travel through one is just as important. Some drivers are so sloppy with their technique that they activate the traffic signals by driving over the detection loops in the oncoming lane when they exit the intersection!


No U-Turns 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 about 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.

CASE LAW - Harris v Doe

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe case of Harris v Doe involves the hit and run of a cyclist, Lucian Harris, by an unknown driver. The collision took place at the intersection of Williams Street and Reece Avenue in Chilliwack. Mr. Harris was riding southbound intending to turn left from Williams onto Reece and was overtaken by a driver. Harris was struck when he began his left turn and the vehicle passed by him.

Turning Left Over Solid Lines

Left Turn Over Double Solid LineProbably one of the most dangerous things that we do as drivers is to make a left turn. As we sit in traffic waiting for a large enough gap between oncoming vehicles we risk being hit from behind, the most common collision type on our roads. When we do turn, we present the sides of our vehicle to other traffic which is the most vulnerable position to be in.

Q&A - Problems Turning Right at an Intersection

Q&A ImageQuestion: Here is a typical intersection in Vancouver at West Broadway and Birch in Kitsilano. Turning right is only allowed from the far right lane. However, West Broadway is packed with parked (legally, see the parking meter) cars, and if the parked car is too big and/or too close to the intersection, you don't have any room to change lanes.

Q&A - Turning Right & Blocking Traffic

Q&A ImageQ: I run into this issue constantly; where drivers leaving a shopping center parking lot think it's OK to make a right hand turn while traffic has backed up at a red light, but only complete that turn half way thereby blocking the ability of those using the right hand turning lane at the next intersection (starts right after the exit from the parking lot) to use that lane.

CASE LAW - Donato v Quach

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis case involves a collision at the intersection of 86 Avenue and 160 Street in Surrey. Joshua Donato had stopped for the stop sign westbound on 86 Avenue intending to turn right. Due to limited visibility he moved forward and slightly to the right in anticipation of making the turn.

Q&A - Who Goes First, Left Turn or Straight Through?

Q&A ImageQ: I'm looking for your assistance in settling a debate. This depicts the camera vehicle making a left turn in front of a vehicle proceeding straight through the intersection around a left turning vehicle. The camera operator is of the thought that since there is only one lane of travel that the vehicle should have waited behind the left turning vehicle and that the camera operator had the right of way. The white vehicle made an illegal pass on the right.