Q: Can I Turn Left on a Red Light?
In British Columbia
*This info is relevant to British Columbia, Canada and may not apply to other provinces, states or countries.
You can not turn left on a red light if you’re turning onto a two-way street (it’s illegal).
You may turn left on a red light from a one-way street onto another one-way street or from a two-way street onto a one-way street. Treat as you would a right turn on a red light. You must completely stop and yield to others before proceeding. Check for turning restriction signs.
Left from one-way street onto one-way street is allowed:
Left from a two-way street onto a one-way street is also allowed:
This is from the ICBC publication Learn to Drive Smart: Read the ICBC driving guides here.
Red light British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act
129 (1) 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.
(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.
(b) except when a left turn permitted by this paragraph is prohibited by a sign at the intersection, the driver of a vehicle facing the red light at the intersection of not more than 2 highways, 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 left turn into a highway on which traffic is restricted to the direction in which he or she causes the vehicle to 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, and
Many moons ago, Carmen became an ICBC-approved driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, and has spent many years working with new and experienced drivers around the lower mainland. She can be found reading the Motor Vehicle Act for fun while receiving strange looks from others. May the quest for great driving continue!
- Pass Your Driving Test Now! Endless Tips for New Drivers
- Top 8 Tips for Reversing and Backing a Car
- ICBC's Learner and New Driver Restrictions - Get the Facts
- Lane Changing Tips
- 8 Things to Remember about Turning Right on a Green Light
- 10+ Juicy Tips to Turn Left at a Traffic Light Safely
- Q: Basic Right or Left Turns Not Awesome? How to Stop Cutting Corners and Turning Wide
- Parking Your Car In the Proper Gear - Standard and Automatic Vehicles
- School and Playground Zones
- How to Hold [and NOT hold] Your Steering Wheel
- BC Driving Blog Most Popular Content Since The Beginning of Time
- Check Your Truck Awareness
- Question On Caulfield Highway Exit ‘4-Way-Stop Intersection’ – West Vancouver
- Right Turn at W King Edward and MacDonald
- Question: Can I take my B.C. road test using a vehicle with an Alberta license plate?
- Tips for Driving & Road Testing With Manual Transmission Vehicle
- Q: I have my ‘N’ – Can my supervisor be drunk?
- Please Understand My Limitation & Situation – A Message from a Vancouver Trolly Bus Driver