U Turns British Columbia

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Today we answer a question about U Turns in British Columbia. Where can you do it? Where is it illegal?

Good question. Let’s start by a list of places/circumstances where it is blatantly illegal to do a U-Turn under BC

Law:

Motor Vehicle Act – Reverse Turn

U Turns British Columbia

Reverse turn
168 Except as provided by the bylaws of a municipality or the laws of a treaty first nation, a driver must not turn a vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction

(a) unless the driver can do so without interfering with other traffic, or,
(b) when he or she is driving
(i) on a curve,
(ii) on an approach to or near the crest of a grade where the vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of another vehicle approaching from either direction within 150 m,
(iii) at a place where a sign prohibits making a U-turn,
(iv) at an intersection where a traffic control signal has been erected, or
(v) in a business district, except at an intersection where no traffic control signal has been erected.

U Turns British Columbia

I did some digging for municipal by-laws and found the following:

City of Vancouver By-Laws:

Drivers MUST NOT do a U-turn:

  •  On any through street
  • At any intersection where a stop sign has been placed, or where a traffic control signal has been installed (a traffic light intersection)
  • At any intersection where the driver must reverse to complete the U-turn, or where the driver would be interfering with other traffic, or where it is not safe to complete.
  • On any street between intersecting street
  • At any lane intersection

U Turns, Drive Smart BC

Read more about driving with some of our most popular articles:

ICBC and Canada Road Test Tips,

4-way Stops in Canada,

British Columbia and Canada Road Lines,

ICBC L and N Restrictions for new and learner drivers,


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15 thoughts on “U Turns British Columbia”

  1. If you would run a red light or drive through a stop sign intersection then you shouldn’t U-turn. Also if you can’t complete the turn in one motion then you can’t do a U-turn.
    Don’t follow the ‘map app’s instructions here – they don’t pay the fines

  2. Hello
    PERHAPS YOU CAN HELP SOLVE A DEBATE THAT I AM HAVING WITH MY HUBBY. WHEN I TOOK MY DRIVERS TESTS YOU COULD MAKE A U TURN ANYWHERE AS LONG AS IT WASNT POSTED THAT YOU COULDNT. IS THIS NOT TRUE ANYMORE? OR IS IT JUST NOT THAT SIMPLE ANYMORE LIKE SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ON A PRACTICE ICBC DRIVERS TEST? YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE A MECHANIC OR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER TO GET SOME OF THEM NOW. AND CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IS A CLASS 7 DRIVER?
    THANK YOU

  3. Hello. Can I make a U-Turn at an uncontrolled (no traffic light) T intersection when there are no other cars any close to the intersection? (In North Vancouver)

  4. Our BC U-Turn laws are ridiculous. Many of the USA States allow for U-Turns at intersections. Yes, accident statistics are even lower in some places. Not allowing us to make turns when there is NO oncoming traffic is clearly an affront to our liberty. What better place to do a U-Turn than at a controlled intersection? I suppose there will be a bunch of ‘what ifs’ spouted. now.

      • i got a ticket for a u turn at in intersection where i had the left turn signal. cant i say that a) unless the driver can do so without interfering with other traffic. does that contradict the b iv

    • Yes, as long as you are not “obstructing traffic” and are doing it “safely.” It is illegal to reverse into an intersection and over a crosswalk. If you’re doing a 3-pt turn in a safe location (not on a curve for example) i.e. in the middle of a block with good visibility, then that is fine.

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