147680
143596
Behind-the-Wheel

Waiting For Light

Q: Its 5:30 am, I am at the intersection of a quiet street, and must turn onto the highway but the light remains RED (for a very long time). Using caution, noticing no cars in either direction, I turn onto the highway. Is this illegal?

A: Yes it is. I have had the same problem sometimes, however the majority of the time the activation sensor needs a little reminder. I usually back up if it is safe and then slowly creep forward and most times this is all it takes. I know that some traffic lights do not have a sensor and I will tune my radio to a good station, 101.5 Silk FM, or admire what little hair I have left on my head in the rear view mirror. The point is, I wait for the light to turn green.

Red light
Section 129 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that when a red light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal, the driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection and facing the red light must cause it to stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, before entering the intersection, and subject to the provisions of subsection (3), must not cause the vehicle to proceed until a traffic control signal instructs the driver that he or she is permitted to do so.
(3) Despite subsection (1), and except when a right turn permitted by this subsection is prohibited by a sign at an intersection, the driver of a vehicle facing the red light, and which in obedience to it is stopped as closely as practicable to a marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, as closely as practicable to the intersection, may cause the vehicle to make a right turn, but the driver must yield the right of way to all pedestrians and vehicles lawfully proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection.


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


More Behind the Wheel articles

135247
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



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

Previous Stories



148413