Bus Only Left Turns -Question Intersections

Question : I have been instructed on a school bus run that I may be included to take a left at a downtown busy intersection which is designated for “bus only.” I was honked at last day on route by other drivers and given the Stare. I do not want to get a driving infraction nor cause an accident.

Good question. According to the BC Motor Vehicle Act, a bus is “a motor vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons,” so if you’re driving such a vehicle, then you’re permitted to turn left against a sign which indicates ‘no left turns except for busses.’ A bus doesn’t have to necessarily be a Translink bus; it could be a HandyDart, a school bus, or something similar.

There’s also a definition of a bus which can be found on the ICBC website.

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In terms of people staring and honking, simply avoid eye contact, pretend they are not there, and carry on. Your most important task is to do the left turn at the busy intersection safely. If the cars behind you don’t like it, and they can not see you’re driving a bus, and they can not read the road signs, and they can not keep a safe following distance behind you that they become irate when you turn on your left signal, or they’re so impatient that they can not simply accept what is, then they are not worth your time, your attention, or your stress.

Over the years I’ve been honked at many times for doing the safe and legal thing at an intersection, such as not turning right on a red light where there is a sign prohibiting such a turn. If people want to have a fit, well you can’t really stop them, especially if you’re not doing anything wrong.

Turning left is generally time-consuming and potentially dangerous, although sometimes very necessary; could you plan your route to avoid the left turn? The decision to turn left is yours, as are the consequences (ie. you decide when it’s safe to turn left without being pushed around by the drivers behind you). Likewise, the decision on how to deal with you if you’re in the way of the traffic behind you, is their problem, not yours, and it is them who must make their own decisions and deal with the resulting consequences.

That’s what I think about that.

Thanks Cathy, for this question.

Carmen Cohoe

Carmen became a driving instructor in beautiful North Vancouver at the age of 22 due to some crazy people who agreed to hire her. After that, there was never a dull moment teaching many different folks from many different places how to drive using automatic and standard vehicles and a minivan.

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