Q: Who has the Right of Way on Right Turns: Cyclists/Bikes, Pedestrians, or Cars?


First of all let’s get one thing straight: No one has the right-of-way until someone else has given it. Thinking “I have the right of way” often leads to disaster when others who are supposed to yield, don’t.

So, think of it in terms of “I should yield to them,” or “They should yield to me.” Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen (in my dreams!). Being realistic, things don’t always go the way they’re “supposed to” while driving and you should expect and anticipate this – it is a normal part of driving.

In terms of right turns, this is a difficult question to answer because it depends on what type of intersection we’re talking about and what colour the traffic light is (if there is one).

Let’s take some common circumstances though, say an intersection with a green traffic light; and a 2-way stop intersection where the bike, pedestrian, and car are not the ones facing stop signs (they’re on the thru road). Let’s say the car wants to turn right, and the pedestrian and bike want to go straight, and these people are all going in the same direction.

– Pedestrians should be given the right to go first

– Bikes should yield to pedestrians

– Vehicles (i.e. cars and trucks) should yield to pedestrians and cyclists

In other words, a pedestrian should not have to stop and wait for a bike or a car to go first before they can walk across the road. A bike should not have to stop and wait for a car to turn right in front of them before they can continue straight. A car should not be cutting off pedestrians or bikes when turning right. This means, the car might have to stop and wait for bikes and pedestrians to go first before turning. A bike might have to stop and wait (on a right turn) for pedestrians as well.

As usual, be defensive: look for eye contact and try to make sure people know you exist before putting yourself in a situation that could prove to be dangerous.









1 thought on “Q: Who has the Right of Way on Right Turns: Cyclists/Bikes, Pedestrians, or Cars?”

  1. According to Motor Vehicle Act, if the cyclist is not on a dedicated bike lane, the car is not necessary to yield to the cyclist. This situation is controlled under the Act (Section 158 MVA)specifying what situation you can pass on the right. Cyclist, like any other drivers, is illegal to pass a vehicle on the right, except 1) it is in a its dedicated lane (a bike lane), or 2) the vehicle is making a left turn.
    Hope this make it clear.

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