Q on Driving on the Shoulder
A question from Shannon!
Q: I know to stay toward the center line when turning left, and the curb when turning right, or to merge into the bike lane if there is one. But what about turning right when there is a shoulder but no curb? It seems reasonable to me to move over a bit into the shoulder, but the manual is very clear that “you may not drive on or across the shoulder or edge line of the road unless a sign permits it”, so I’m not sure what to do.
Generally, driving on the shoulder is a big no-no. It is not an actual lane intended for use by vehicles and it illegal in many places. This is generally not a safe place to drive because no one expects you to be there, there may be stuff like nails and other sharp or random objects there, or there may be broken-down vehicles; or the shoulder may be reserved as a bike lane. Never drive on the shoulder unless you are moving there in an emergency or your vehicle is breaking down.
In terms of turning right, drivers are expected to move toward the right – but not onto the shoulder – before turning. Some drivers will go on the shoulder anyway, even when they aren’t supposed to, so be aware of your surroundings and check your mirrors & shoulder check before turning just in case.
Driving on the Shoulder: DriveSmartBC
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