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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - Left Turns

A vehicle is making a left hand turn onto a street that has two lanes of
traffic and they turned into the far lane. Another vehicle, heading the
opposite direction, is making a right hand turn with a yield sign. If these
two vehicle's collided one taking a two lane turn, the other assuming that
they did not have to yield for the vehicle that made the two lane turn who
would be at fault in the accident?

When making a left turn at an intersection onto a roadway with more than one lane in the direction of intended travel, a driver must turn into the immediate lane closest to the right of the center of the roadway for the intended direction of travel. Fault as far as the insurance is ICBC's department.

Turning at intersections
Section 165 (2) of the Motor Vehicle act indicates that when the driver of a vehicle intends to turn it to the left at an intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each highway entering the intersection, the driver must
(a) cause the vehicle to approach the intersection in the portion of the right side of the roadway that is nearest the marked centre line, or if there is no marked centre line, then as far as practicable in the portion of the right half of the roadway that is nearest the centre line,
(b) keep the vehicle to the right of the marked centre line or centre line of the roadway, as the case may be, at the place the highway enters the intersection,
(c) after entering the intersection, turn the vehicle to the left so that it leaves the intersection to the right of the marked centre line of the roadway being entered, or if there is no marked centre line then to the right of the centre line of the roadway being entered, and,
(d) when practicable, turn the vehicle in the portion of the intersection to the left of the centre of the intersection.
(3) When the driver of a vehicle intends to turn the vehicle left at an intersection where traffic is restricted to one direction on one or more of the highways, the driver must cause the vehicle to approach the intersection in the extreme left hand lane available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle, and after entering the intersection turn the vehicle to the left so as to leave the intersection as nearly as practicable in the left hand lane available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle on the highway being entered.

There is also an onus on the vehicle driver making a right turn facing a yield sign.

It is imperative that all drivers facing a yield sign watch for all traffic in all directions. In doing this, it will prevent a vehicle crash. Even though another driver has decided to make a left turn improperly, the right turning vehicle driver can avoid these types of collisions.

Yield Signs
Section 173 (2) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that except as provided in section 175, if 2 vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time and there is a yield sign, the driver of a vehicle facing the sign must yield the right of way to all other traffic.

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison
Kelowna R.C.M.P. Detachment


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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