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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - California Stop

I was reading some of the questions on right of way and such so my question is does a Stop sign mean STOP or just go anyway. The reason I ask is because when I go for a walk down Ziprick Rd. and Baron Rd beside Costco, I have noticed that a lot of cars with the N in the back window just keep on turning with no stop, I thought you had to stop then make your right turn unless there is a yield sign. I have even been driving on Baron Rd coming up to Ziprick and I have seen numerous young people just look at you and not even stop at the stop sign because they must think you aren't there yet so it means go.

Could you put some light on this for me because one day I might be the one that little fool hits.

Thank you for time.

Kenneth Wilde

Dear Kenneth

As per Section 186 of the Motor Vehicle Act, a driver approaching an intersection with a Stop Sign for the drivers' direction of travel must come to a complete stop. This includes when making a right turn, left turn or continuing straight through. A Stop Sign does not mean to slow down and proceed through as coined in the phrase, "California Stop." It means your vehicle must stop movement completely before proceeding safely. This is called a "total cessation(Sess-a-tion) of movement," a Latin term used by the Traffic Courts in British Columbia when determining guilt.

The only exception is when directed by a peace officer to continue through the stop sign.

If you choose to ignore the stop sign, the next "sensation" could be you receiving a ticket for $167 and 3 points on your driving record.

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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