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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - Winter Driving

Hello, Great column... I love reading it, its just too bad we couldn't get everyone reading it as it might make driving safer for everyone.

My question is in regards to winter driving. When it snows and drivers cannot see the lines on the road what does the law state in regards to
this ? As well.. once there are tracks worn into the snow and you can clearly see parts of the roadway lines are you still not supposed to stay within the marked lines ? What about multi laned roadways ? It is bad enough during normal summer conditions when people turn corners and cross the centerline and such. Winter does not make it any easier but I am wondering what the rules are. Keep up the great work !

During adverse weather road conditions such as ice, snow or slush, it does become difficult to see the lines on the roadway. Sometimes the roadway lines will be visible and yet there is parts of the roadway that have ice, snow or slush which could cause driving problems and potential hazards. If you read below Section 155 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act and especially subsection 2, I think this will answer your questions.

Highway lines
Section 155 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that despite anything in this Part, if a highway is marked with
(a) a solid double line, the driver of a vehicle must drive it to the right of the line only,
(b) a double line consisting of a broken line and a solid line,
(i) the driver of a vehicle proceeding along the highway on the side of the broken line must drive the vehicle to the right of the double line, except when passing an overtaken vehicle, and
(ii) the driver of a vehicle proceeding along the highway on the side of the solid line must drive the vehicle to the right of the double line, except only when finishing the passing of an overtaken vehicle, and
(c) one single line, broken or solid, the driver of a vehicle must drive the vehicle to the right of the line, except only when passing an overtaken vehicle.
(2) Subsection (1) (b) (i) and (c) do not apply if a driver is avoiding an obstruction on the highway and first ascertains that the movement can be made with safety and without affecting the travel of any other vehicle.

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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