FAQ



  • 1.Uncategorized
    Uncategorized/Misc/Random/Etc/
  • Which way do I turn the wheels when I park on a hill?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Parking uphill with a curb: turn wheels left.

    Parking downhill: turn wheels right.

    Parking uphill without a curb (beside dirt, grass, etc) turn wheels right.

    Get the deets here.

  • What is the proper way to hold a steering wheel?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Hold it at the 9:00 and 3:00 position. Do not hook or palm the wheel or use only one hand for steering. Get the deets here.

  • What is dry steering?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    When you turn the steering wheel with the vehicle completely stopped. This is really hard on the steering components and the tires and should be avoided in order to avoid costly repair bills. Read more here.

  • Is it illegal to drive with one hand on the wheel?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    There is no law that says you must have two hands on the wheel, although it is highly recommended to have both hands on there for good control of course. Read more here.

  • How can I do a hill start in an automatic without rolling backwards?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    You could either use your parking brake, or you could use both feet (and this is the only time that you should use both feet on the pedals.) Simply transfer your left foot onto the brake while the right foot is still on it, then transfer your right foot onto the gas and add a bit of pressure until you can hear or feel the car trying to move, and then slowly release your left foot from the brake and put it away. When you have to stop again, use your right foot to stop. Get the details here.

  • Is it illegal if my car doesn't have windshield wipers?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yes this is illegal! Get some wipers. Read more here.

  • Is it illegal to drive while high?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yes. It is illegal to drive while impaired and being high counts as being impaired. Read more.

  • Can I drive in flip-flops?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    This is a very bad idea and collisions have happened because the driver's flip flop fell off or fell out of place and the driver could not control the car. Do not drive in flip flops. Get the deets.

  • Can I drive without a horn?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Driving without a horn that works is illegal. This could be the difference between life and death if you think about it. Read more here.

  • Who's fault is it if a car signals but doesn't turn?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Whose fault it is will depend on the traffic control devices that were present and the general rules about which car was legally required to yield to the other - i.e. cars with stop signs are required to yield to cars without stop signs, cars with red lights are supposed to yield to cars that have green lights; etc. If a car has a signal on and you think it is going to turn and it doesn't turn, and you pull out and it crashes into you, you may be 100% at fault if you were the one with the stop sign. It is not worth it to take chances. Never trust the turn signal of other vehicles. Wait and see if they're actually going to do what their turn signal says they're going to do. What a great way to have a collision. Read more here.

  • Is it illegal to drive while high?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    Yes it is illegal to drive while impaired in any way, and this includes being impaired by alcohol as well as legal and illegal drugs.

  • 2.Rules of the Road
    Traffic laws, rules, legalities, etc.
  • Can I turn left across a yellow line to get into a driveway?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    The answer to this question is maybe. It depends on the situation; you are allowed to do this (to even turn across double yellow solid lines) to get into a driveway, parking lot, lane, or whatever, as long as it is safe and you are not impeding traffic. If you're blocking traffic by doing so (as in, creating a huge traffic jam) then you should not do this and could get a ticket for impeding traffic flow. Use discretion. Get the details here.

  • Do I have to go 30 km/hr in a school zone when it's Spring Break?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    No, no you dont! Technically school zones are only in effect on school days. Get the details here.

  • What's the difference between white lines and yellow lines on the road?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yellow lines separate traffic moving in different directions. White lines separate traffic moving in the same direction. Get the deets here.

  • Who goes first at a 4-way stop?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Whoever stops first, goes first. Whoever stops second, goes second, etc.

    If you stop at the same time, the car on the left should yield to the car on the right and the car turning left should yield to the car going straight.

    Get the details here.

  • Should I stop at the stop line or the stop sign?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Stop at the white stopping line; this is legally where you are required to stop. Sometimes the stop sign is at a slightly different spot than the line for various reasons. Read more here.

  • Is it illegal not to use the turn signal?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yes this is illegal. Read more here.

  • Is it illegal to drive with high beams (brights) on?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yes this is illegal if there are vehicles in front of you going the same direction or opposite direction within 150 meters. Read more here. 

     

  • What should I do when I see a yield sign?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yield means you must stop and let other traffic go if there is any traffic or pedestrians, cyclists, or anyone there. If there's no one there, you can just keep going. Read more here.

  • What is the speed limit in the city, I never know how fast to go.
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    The speed limit in cities is 50 km/hr unless otherwise posted. There will be signs if you are required to go at a different speed other than 50.

  • What do the road sign colours mean?
    Carmen C.21-03-2014

    White and black signs are regulation signs - you must follow them or else you're breaking the law (i.e. speed limit sign). Yellow signs are a caution or warning sign. Orange are construction or temporary. Blue are info signs telling you what exciting things there may be to encounter in the area (if you're looking for a gas station, camp ground, ski hill, etc, read these ones). Green ones are info signs for highway exits.

  • Is it illegal to coast down a hill in neutral?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    Yes. Being in gear is better control over a car vs. being in neutral.

  • 3.Parking & Backing
    Anything to do with driving a car backwards!
  • Where am I supposed to look while I'm reversing a car?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    If you're backing up in a straight line or to the right you should look over your right shoulder out the rear window. If you're backing to the left you should look towards the left. In other words, look in the direction you are going. Get the deets here.

  • Is it illegal to back out of my driveway?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    No! Not usually. Get more info here.

  • Can you drive across lines in a parking lot?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    I don't think there's a law written that says you can't, although it's probably not a very smart idea since you're turning the parking lot into a 'free for all' and you may be surprising other drivers by 'appearing out of no where' which is a good way to have a collision. There's enough going on in parking lots that other drivers really don't need extra vehicles popping out of unexpected places. Read more here.

  • 4.Intersections
    Right turns, left turns, right-of-way, etc.
  • Can I turn left on a red light?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Onto a 2-way street: NO

    From a one-way street onto a one-way street: YES (you must stop and yield first).

    From a two-way street onto a one-way street: YES (you must stop and yield first).

    Get the details here.

  • When should I shoulder check before turning right?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Do a shoulder check before you turn right at every intersection to make sure there are no cyclists, pedestrians, or other road users about to cross your path. If you're driving on a wide road and you're going to move over closer to the curb before turning, do a shoulder check before moving over (mostly to check for cyclists) and then do another shoulder check as the very last thing you do before you turn. Get the details.

  • When I'm turning right on a green light, who do I have to yield to?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Technically you just need to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. Sometimes, a left-turning vehicle will turn and you may have to go after them, although they are supposed to be yielding to you. Get more info here.

  • What is the proper way to scan an intersection?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    You scan Left, Centre, Right, and then Left again. Get more info.

  • Do I have to signal to enter a roundabout?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    You don't have to signal to enter it, but you should signal "Right" before you leave to let others know that you are exiting. Read more here.

  • How many cars can wait in the intersection for left turns?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    This is a difficult question to give a straight-forward answer because it depends on variables such as the size of the vehicles and the size of the intersection. Read more.

  • Do I have to do a left shoulder check for left turns?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Most experienced drivers do not do this. However there may be times when you should. Read more here.

  • Should I pull into the intersection when I'm turning left?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yes! This means less confusion for others at the intersection as people can tell that you are planning to turn. It also has legal implications. One is, if you enter an intersection on a green light, you're allowed to leave the intersection whenever it is safe, regardless of the traffic light colour. If you don't enter the intersection on green, then you aren't allowed to leave it once it turns yellow and that means you'll be there all day long; and isn't the point of driving to get somewhere?! Get the details.

  • What are fresh and stale lights?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Fresh is a green light that you know is going to stay green because you either saw it change to green or you see the pedestrian 'walk' signal. A stale light is one that you aren't sure if it will change to yellow or not, in other words it's an old green light. You can recognize these because they've been green a while and/or they have the pedestrian 'don't walk' or hand signal displaying. Read more here.

  • If 4 cars stop at a 4 way stop at the same time, who goes first?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    Well the Porsche/Corvette always goes first. After that, there will only be 3 cars and they can proceed according to the normal rules. OK I'm kidding, but there's no rule for this, however cars are moving things so you don't really need to stop all at the same time and make your life more difficult, do you? Could you slow down more slowly and stop after the other 3 cars? Read my rant here.

     

  • 5.Road Test
    Anything to do with your road test.
  • Can I use my friend's car for the road test?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yes, as long as you have his permission! 😉 Read more here.

  • How long is the road test?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    The Class 7 test (to get your N) is about 30 minutes of actual driving (they may tell you that it's 45 minutes, but that includes the time it takes you to do the paperwork etc. in the office).

    The Class 5 test is about 45 minutes because it includes the freeway as well (Class 7 test does not).

  • Will the road test examiner try and trick me?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    No! However, it is a test, so this means they will not help you either. What this means is they will not ask you to do anything illegal (like asking you to turn to go the wrong way down a one-way street) but if they ask you to turn right at an intersection, and it has a red light, and you do not see the sign that says "No rights turns allowed on red." then they may allow you to do the illegal turn (as long as it is safe) and you will then fail the exam.

  • How many points can you get on your road test until you fail?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    It is not that simple anymore and no longer using a demerit system. You are marked on 5 Global Skills (space margins, steering, communication, observation, & speed). It's kind of complicated at first glance but the system does make sense if you take the time to figure it out! Read more here

  • Does ICBC check the 60 hour log?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    Nope. So technically you could take your road test after having no driving experience whatsoever, just so long as the one year has gone by. (Don't do that please!)

  • Can you dry steer on the road test?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    Yes you can. ICBC doesn't care if you have this bad habit as you will be wrecking the components of your own car and not theirs! Or maybe they will forgive people who've not learned how to drive without learning how to dry steer, if it means people will not crash into stuff more often. Don't get me started!

  • How many times are you allowed to fail the road test?
    Carmen C.07-05-2014

    I believe you can fail it an unlimited amount of times unless you're a senior going for a re-exam (then they only get 3 chances).

  • 6.Student Drivers, New Drivers
    Rules for new drivers, questions or issues that new drivers might have, etc.
  • When do I have to shoulder check?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Shoulder check any time before you will be moving the car over more than 1 meter. This means: before turning right, before lane changing, before merging, before pulling out, before pulling over, when parking, before backing up, and any other time you will be moving over. Get the details here.

  • How can I do a lane change in heavy traffic?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Turn your signal on and wait for someone to let you in; people are not psychic and they have no idea that you want to lane change  unless you tell them. You will be surprised at how kind people are if only they knew what you would like to do. Go the same speed as the traffic. Do not lane change unless it is safe. Read more here.

  • Are L and N drivers allowed to drive in the states?
    Carmen C.19-03-2014

    Yes, have atter! Just make sure to follow all of the same restrictions as printed on the back of your licence, i.e. display the L or N sign, etc. Read more.

  • What happens if my 'N' is about to expire?
    Carmen C.21-03-2014

    If you've had your N for a while and you have not done your next road test in order to obtain your full Class 5 license, that's no problem. You can simply go to the ICBC driver licensing office where you first went to get your "L" and simply renew your license. This involves a payment and a new photograph; you do not have to re-do any kind of knowledge test or road test. So in theory, you could keep your N for the rest of your life by simply renewing it every time it expires. But as long as you have the N, you have the restrictions that go along with it.

  • How long should a learner drive for before the road test?
    Carmen C.26-03-2014

    Brand new drivers should get at the very minimum 60 hours of experience before doing the road test. This allows the time to get the skills and experience needed to be safe driving alone. After 40 hours many drivers have the skill and can properly control the vehicle, but do not have sufficient experience in dealing with every day traffic situations. The goal is competent, confident, safe, and proficient driving.

  • If a 'N' Driver gets into a crash and its their fault, do they still get to keep their 'N' ?
    Carmen C.15-05-2014

    Yes normally they will still keep their N, just the same as when any regular Class 5 driver gets into a fender bender; the drivers normally get to keep their licences unless it's an extremely bad crash in which death or very serious injuries are involved and they are convicted of criminal offences such as driving drunk or otherwise found to be criminally responsible. But a driver will normally keep the N and they may have higher insurance charges if the crash was their fault but they will not go back to the L stage.

  • Does an N driver have to put the N on a scooter?
    Carmen C.01-07-2014

    Q: My stepson just got his "N" and would like to use the scooter we have. I know he has to display the "N" on any car he drives, does the "N" have to be displayed on the scooter as well? And if so, where, that "N" is almost as big as the bikes entire license plate?

    Answer: You can get a mini- N from ICBC which should be able to fit beside the license plate. Otherwise I guess he could duct tape the N to his jacket lol. But yes you are still supposed to clearly display the N while riding the scooter.

  • What will happen if an L driver drives without a supervisor?
    Carmen C.01-07-2014

    I can list off a million reasons why this would be a bad idea but make sure you consider them for yourself before driving alone when you shouldn't (i.e. injuring yourself, injuring someone else, causing the death of someone else, being sued, etc., insurance consequences/penalties, personal, $$$$, etc., etc.)

    If a GLP driver is charged under section 25(15) MVA for failing to obey a restriction, which includes driving without a supervisor, they receive a fine and 3 penalty points for the conviction. More often than not, this is usually discovered because they have done something to attract the attention of police. If a ticket is written for that violation as well, they will be prohibited by the Superintendent for points. When no supervisor is present, that is the end of the journey on the spot. Some officers will tow the vehicle and some will call for the owner to attend and take custody of it.

    Some officers will ignore a minor breach. If the driver is failing to display a new driver sign for instance, they technically cannot continue to drive until they display one. Discretion can be used to allow them to continue to go and get a new one.

8 comments

A.R. September 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Hi,
I will be appearing for my Class 5 road test in 2 weeks. I had license from a different country so was able to go straight for the Class 5 test. However, I have failed once already and the main issue was my steering technique.
Can you please tell me if “hand-over-hand” or “shuffle” steering is mandatory here in BC or the examiner just looks to see if you have complete control on the steering?
Thanks

Reply
BCDrivingBlog September 25, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Hi, basically you do have to use hand-over-hand OR shuffle, OR a combination of those two techniques. Using only 1 hand to steer is NOT OK, hooking the wheel or grabbing the inside of the steering wheel is NOT OK, palming the wheel where you just use your palm to move the steering wheel is NOT OK either!! Yes they are also looking that it’s smooth and the vehicle is nicely controlled.

Have you read this one?

http://drivinginstructorblog.com/q-what-is-hooking-the-steering-wheel-other-ways-of-holding-the-wheel/

Reply
A.R. September 30, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Thank you so much for your reply. I have two more questions. My first question (which may sound stupid :)) – Suppose when making a left turn I use my right hand to push the steering to the 12 o’ clock position and then use my left hand to pull it down from the 12 o’ clock position of the steering – will this push-pull be considered a shuffle technique?

Also when reviving back the steering, if the steering is allowed to slide back to its position, with both my hands keeping control of the steering at the same time & not letting it go off completely – will this considered an error?

I am sorry if my questions sound stupid but any feedback will be appreciable.
Thanks again.

Reply
mariya August 20, 2015 at 1:11 pm

how does examiner choose examinee for the road test appointment?is it a random choice?

Reply
BCDrivingBlog August 24, 2015 at 11:45 pm

I think so ! Just whichever examiner is done with the previous person first, I guess.

Reply
Jeremy Motley May 26, 2015 at 9:13 am

is it illegal to keep an N or L on the back all the time even if the driver is not in the learners or new category

Reply
BCDrivingBlog May 26, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Hi, I don’t know, I’m going to ask the police and I’ll let you know what they say. Since ICBC didn’t really give me a good answer on this one.

Reply
BCDrivingBlog May 29, 2015 at 11:37 am

I got an answer from the VPD:

The simple answer is “ no “it is not illegal, but keep in mind that you may be stopped if you are the lone occupant of the vehicle driving while displaying an “L” sign. The “L” sign requires the driver to be accompanied by a qualified supervisor. If an officer sees a vehicle operated by a lone individual while displaying an “L” sign the officer will more than likely stop the vehicle to ascertain if he/she is contravening the licence restrictions.

Reply

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