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Behind The Wheel

The proper position for turning

"Tell them that they need to be in the proper lane before they turn" says one reader. Equally important is the need to end up in the proper lane after the turn. Attention to detail here provides for a smooth flow of traffic and less chance of being involved in a collision.

The definition of roadway is important to this discussion. This is the portion of the highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for traffic, but does not include the shoulder. In the case of a paved highway, it is the portion between the lines, or in the case where there is no line on the right side, between the lines and the edges of the pavement.

Drivers intending to turn right at an intersection must approach and make the turn as close as possible to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway.

Drivers intending to turn left at an intersection must approach in the lane nearest to the center line keeping to the right of that line, turn to the left of the center of the intersection, and leave the intersection to the right of the center line.

Turns made to leave the highway at places other than an intersection require that the driver approach the turn in the same manner as turns made at intersections.

In all of the cases outlined above the driver will be in the first lane available to the intended direction of travel when the turn is completed. A common mistake made at the intersection of multi-lane highways is to turn directly into lanes other than those designated.


The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit

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About the author...

Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.

E-mail him your questions or concerns: [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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