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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - Sign Invisible

The new sign at Water and Harvey, that indicates right turn only, seems to be invisible to all. At night many vehicles continue to drive straight or
make a left turn as there is no traffic light to wait for. We still seem
to have a lot of accidents at this intersection and although the police sit
right across the street in the McDonalds parking lot, they fail to pull over
the many taxi's and bar clientèle that continually make these illegal turns.
Oops I almost forgot, of course they wouldn't pull them over because they
are guilty of the left turn as well. I was under the belief that if the
police were to run against traffic laws, their lights needed to be on, is
this true?

Answer From Dear Cop
As per Section 161(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, if on or over a highway there is one or more traffic control devices(which includes signs or signal devices) indicating the direction vehicles must proceed, a person must not drive a vehicle other than in the direction indicated. Failure to comply carries a fine of $121 and 2 points.

As per Section 122 of the Motor Vehicle Act, a driver of an emergency vehicle may do the following:
(a) exceed the speed limit
(b) proceed pass a red traffic control signal or stop sign without stopping
(c) disregard rules and traffic control devices governing direction of movement or turning in a specified directions
(d) stop or stand.
The driver of an emergency vehicle must drive with due regard for safety and have regard to all the circumstances of the case which may require the police officer to use or not use the emergency equipment when disobeying traffic laws.
Just because you observe a marked police vehicle at a certain location does not mean that the officer is there looking for violators disobeying a traffic sign. There are many reasons for a police officer to be at any location. It is not always for traffic enforcement.

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison


More Behind the Wheel articles

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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