Q: Right Turn Red Lights – Vancouver Area Intersections

(Last Updated On: April 3, 2014)

Q: Can I turn right on a red light at these intersections: Georgia Viaduct at Main Street, Edmonds at Kingsway?

Answer: You can go right on a red light in BC as long as there are no turning restriction signs (make sure it is safe & legal). Keep in mind you are legally required to completely stop first (This may be why some people receive a ticket for going right on a red light; some drivers do not actually stop – or even pretend to stop – before proceeding).

How To Turn Right On Red: Right Turns on Red Lights

Please note that when I say “You can” it is a lot different than saying “You should” or “You have to.” Use discretion please. If people behind you honk, ignore them. The choice is yours, not theirs. The consequences are yours, not theirs.

Georgia Viaduct at Main Street: The only difference I see here is that there are 2 right turning lanes, not one. It doesn’t say not to turn right on a red, therefore, you can. Just be careful with it and be aware the vehicles beside you may be attempting to turn at the same time (of course this potentially blocks the view for at least one of the drivers and is not ideal). Try to stagger it so you aren’t turning exactly at the same time.

GeorgiaMain

Edmonds & Kingsway: Same idea. This one looks different, but it’s still just a right turn on a red light, with no turning restriction sign; therefor you can do it (when safe).EdmondsKingsway

 

Marine Way & South East Marine Drive, Vancouver: Same thing. It’s a right turn on a red light without a turning restriction sign; therefore you can do it.

Marine

Check out this intersection in North Vancouver. (2nd Street W @ 3rd Street W) It’s similar in that it’s on a strange angle and 2 lanes turn right. However, this one clearly tells you not to turn right on a red light. There are 2 signs placed at the intersection. This is what it looks like if you are not allowed to turn right on a red light:

NorthVan

Columbia turning right onto McBride: Has a clear sign saying “Right Turn Only on Green Arrow” Very specific and clear instructions. This obviously means you can not turn right when the light is red (which can not be said about the Edmonds intersection):

McBride

Did anyone else notice in this ^ pic it looks like there’s a car going through a red light and one stopped for a green light? They’ve got it all backwards!

Motor Vehicle Act:

Red light

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.

(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.

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!