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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - Right Hand Turn

I had emailed you before about the right hand turn light at the intersection of Enterprise and Spall. There seems to be quite the argument as to whether you can turn right on the red or not. The argument is that with any red light you come to you must stop and then proceed with caution when turning right. This is even after your recent letter about left hand turn signals.
I hope you can specifically answer this question because it seems to be very confusing. When a right turn light is at an intersection do you need to stop until the light turns green or can you proceed with caution after
stopping?

A driver wishing to make a right turn on a red light must first come to a stop. Yield to all through traffic and pedestrians and proceed safely when clear. Some intersections have a flashing green arrow which is considered a green light when it is activated. In this situation, a driver may proceed without stopping only when the green arrow is functioning. Another intersection that has the same green right hand turn arrow is High Road and Gordon Drive.

Red light
Section 129 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that subject to subsection (2), 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.
(2) The driver of a bus approaching an intersection and facing a red light and a prescribed white rectangular indicator may cause the bus to proceed through the intersection.
(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


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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.

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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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