Left on a Red Light – Can you Do it?

Share

Left on a red light In British Columbia

*This information regarding turning left on a red light, is relevant to British Columbia, Canada and may not apply to other provinces, states, countries, or planets.

left on a red light at Two-Way Streets

You can not turn left on a red light if you’re turning onto a two-way street (it’s illegal).

left on a red light at One-Way Streets

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.

You can turn Left on a red light from one-way street onto one-way street

left on a red light

You can turn Left on a red light from a two-way street onto a one-way street

left turn red light

This is from the ICBC publication Learn to Drive Smart: Read the ICBC driving guides here.

ICBC left turn red light

There is also a very clear statement on the Vancouver Police Department website.

turning left at intersection

 

Read about red lights in the BC MOTOR VEHICLE ACT:

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.

(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.

(4) When a red light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal,

(a) a pedestrian facing the red light must not enter the roadway unless instructed that he or she may do so by a pedestrian traffic control signal,

(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

(c) a pedestrian proceeding across the roadway and facing the red light exhibited after he or she entered the roadway

(i)  must proceed to the sidewalk as quickly as possible, and

(ii)  has the right of way for that purpose over all vehicles.

Left turn on a red light video

Left turn on a red light downtown vancouver

Keep in mind that you never have to turn left or right on a red light. It’s a red light, which means ‘stop.’ It means that some other road user(s) have the right-of-way over you.

Use your discretion and as usual, if you aren’t sure it’s safe, then simply wait. It won’t be too long until your light goes green.


Share