New Driver Questions – FAQs Answered

Questions about 4-Way- Stops

If 2 vehicles are facing each other and have stopped at the same time, can they go together as they are not bothering anybody?

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Here’s what the ICBC manual says about 4-way stops:

four-way stops — when there are stop signs at all corners: • The first vehicle to arrive at the intersection and come to a complete stop should go first. • If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the one on the right should go first. • If two vehicles are facing each other and have arrived at the intersection at about the same time, the one making a left turn should yield to the one going straight through.

Ok this doesn’t help answer our question at all, but there it is anyway. (Hence, this website?)

In my opinion:

Yes, the cars can go at the same time if both drivers can be certain that both the cars are truly, actually, in fact both going straight. Day to day cars can be observed doing this very thing countless times without issues. And why not? They aren’t using the same part of the road, so why should they sit there and wait for each other?


There is a problem with this sometimes in that if one car is actually turning left and does not display a turn signal because of whatever reason; maybe the turn signal light is burnt out, the driver forgot to put it on, the driver is drunk or distracted or whatever else, or the driver changed their mind at the last second and decided they want to now turn left, then we have a problem. And there have been crashes that have happened this exact way.

So what I would recommend and what I do when I am driving is to find some happy medium somewhere between paranoia and apathy. Hesitation is one strategy. Usually if a car is turning left you can see the wheels or even the entire car start to turn once the car starts moving. So you can wait until you are 100% sure you know where it’s going and then continue. Another way to get a clue is to look at the driver (if it’s daylight this is applicable). Maybe it’s just my imagination but I find if drivers are going straight they tend to look a bit bored or they do a very quick scan of the intersection and then look ahead at where they are going. If they are about to turn they should look a wee bit more concerned about you as an oncoming straight car yes?

This is the same problem we get when 2 cars facing each other are also displaying a left turn signal. Are they actually both going left? If they are that’s cool but if they aren’t then you could crash easily. So the same idea would apply for that.

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Imagine there is a big stop line ( 4 Ways stop ) enough for 2 vehicles stopping at the same time … can they stop together and go ?( one straight .the other one Right … or one straight the other one left ? )

I wrote some thoughts on this subject in another article. Let me know if it answers your question.

Passing on the Right to Turn Right


Imagine we have 4 ways stop .. but instead of one stop line in each side .. we have 2 stop line … ( let’s say one for straight & one for turning left ) … now considering sometimes 2 vehicles facing each other would go simultaneously .. now we have 2 vehicles in one side .. one turning left the other going straight .. & vehicle facing them which want to go straight.. which of them should go first ??

Say what? Where is this intersection? I would be tempted to go back to basics. Instead of getting confused by all that is going on, just think to yourself: If another car stopped before you, then it goes before you. If they stopped after you, then they go after you. If you stop at the same time, you yield to the right and if you stop at the same time, cars going left should yield to cars going straight. Hope that helps. 

How much should be the distance from stopped vehicles ( behind stop line or red Light ) ?? Does it depends to the size of vehicles in the front or just I should see the whole tire? Please Compare a big Trailer truck with a sedan .

Usually seeing the bottom of the tires touching the pavement is a good guideline, however you’re right there’s a difference between stopping behind a Smart Car and a Semi-Truck. Leave more space behind trucks always. Remember the reasons we want space in general:

  • If the car in front breaks down, you can go around

  • If the car behind you runs into you, you have space in front as a cushion

  • Visibility; too close = poor visibility; poor visibility = blind, clueless driver

  • Exhaust fumes; too close = free exhaust fumes coming into your vehicle

  • If the car/truck in front rolls back on a hill and/or they are driving a standard, there’s your space cushion

  • Am I missing one?

Something like this, generally speaking:

Stopping Distane Day
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For Ambulances should I only pull over to the right ?? I need more explanation about it.

ICBC on Emergency Vehicles

Know the rules — emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights and sirens always have the right-of-way. All traffic moving in both directions must stop. (Exception: if you are on a divided highway and the emergency vehicle is approaching on the other side of the median, you may not need to stop. Make sure that it would be impossible for the emergency vehicle to move onto your side of the highway.) Clear a path — don’t block the path of emergency vehicles. Usually the best thing to do is pull over to the right and stop (or to the left if you’re driving in the left lane of a divided highway or on a one-way street). Do not stop in an intersection. Think well ahead, and have a plan in mind to create a path for the emergency vehicle. It is illegal to drive over a fire hose.

They’re responding to an emergency and need you to get out of the way. Usually this means pull over to the right (or closest curb) and stop. Sometimes it’s not that simple. By all means pull to the right and stop, but if that fails, do whatever you need to do – safely – to make a path for them. You are unpredictable when you are moving, that’s why it is best to stop and they can plan their route around the traffic.


On the book it says :

Drivers must slow down and leave plenty of room when passing
stopped vehicles displaying flashing lights to make highways
safer for law enforcement, emergency personnel and other
roadside workers. This rule applies to all vehicles authorized
to display flashing yellow, red, white or blue lights, including
those used by fire departments, law enforcement, commercial
vehicle inspectors, conservation officers, paramedics, tow truck
operators, highway maintenance workers, utility workers, land
surveyors, animal control workers and garbage collectors.

It used the word Highway .. Does it include even streets ?

Yes. Let the Motor Vehicle Act define highway for us here:

“highway” includes

(a) every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act,

(b) every road, street, lane or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles, and

(c) every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited,

but does not include an industrial road;

Does it include even TELUS MINIVANS with yellow flashing lights ?

I would think that yes this would be included under the category of ‘utility workers.’ Definitions aside, what do you think? Do you think it’s nice and it makes sense that we have to slow down for emergency personnel but it’s fine to go speeding past another person; the only difference being that their vehicle is a different colour?

What about a random guy without flashing yellow lights, stuck changing a tire on the side of the road? Should we slow down for him or speed past?

Keep Right, Let Others Pass Law is Now Official on BC Highways
law applies to all motorists travelling on BC highways with two or more lanes of traffic travelling in the same direction and a posted speed limit of 80 km/h or greater.

Considering the above Rule :.. would it be okay if student goes with 50 km in the left lane .. .. ? Do you recommend them change their lane even in the exam (mostly short straight route ) ??

On the exam there is a set route so it’s probably best to follow their directions. If you’re on a road where the speed limit is 50 km/hr then you are allowed to be in the left lane if you want. This makes a lot of sense especially if you’re planning to turn left. It seems like an unwritten, unofficial custom to move to the right lane if you are simply travelling along; but this depends so much on circumstance. In many cases, no one is going to even take note of which lane is faster or slower because they are both slow, so no one will really care which lane you are in.

IN ICBC Exam sheet .. what does Weight Transfer ( MC ) ?? In D4 section means ?

D4 Weight transfer (motorcycle)

The angle of the rider’s body in relationship to the motorcycle.

Rider maintains correct body position while travelling at high speeds, turning, or going through curves.

  • Rider fails to maintain body position at approximately the same angle as the motorcycle while riding at a higher speed, turning, or cornering.

  • Rider’s foot leaves footrest to maintain balance or touches ground while in motion.

  • Rider rides with feet on wrong foot rests.

For left turn with amber light .. do you suggest only one vehicle to go ?

Check out these and let me know if you still have questions :

How Many Cars Can Wait……

How much should it be the distance from the trailer trucks in highway with 90 km speeds ? how about in 60 km speed ?

The more the better.


Allow following distance — a big vehicle can prevent you from seeing hazards ahead. You’ll have a wider range of vision if you increase your following distance. If you are stopped facing uphill behind a large vehicle, remember that it may roll backwards when the driver releases the brake. Leave extra space in front of your vehicle. In rainy weather, large vehicles can spray dirt or water onto your windshield, reducing your vision. Their tires may also spray up rocks that could hit your vehicle. Staying well back will help prevent this.

At minimum, 4 seconds for ideal conditions; 5+ for poor conditions.


In HWY exit ( which sometimes it is long ) where should I change sped to 50 km ? is there any sign ?

Yep there is a yellow sign usually. Yellow signs mean it’s recommended (not law) to follow the speed on the sign. The exit ramps technically have no speed limits, although there are usually some kind of intersection up ahead which usually have some kind of traffic control (stop sign, yield sign, red light…) so you probably won’t want to still be going 90 km at that point. Speed signs are there for a reason, not for decoration. So slow down gradually; don’t slam on the brakes!

While merging . I am going to be added to left side .. then do I need to do Right Shoulder check ?

Not sure what you mean with the right/left, but yes you must shoulder check before merging, just like any other lane change. We have blind spots.

Consider you are in major Road with red Light ..then the Light turn Green … should you stop behind stop line till all pedestrian go and then start Right turn ?

Please read this:

Turning Right on a Green Light – How To Be Awesome At This


Right Turns Red Lights..

Thanks for all your efforts

Ok you’re welcome. Please read the ICBC book and take a few driving lessons; then let me know how it’s going! 

Hi, I just received a ticket for 2 violations: driving too many people, and not displaying my N sign.

The latter has no points, but the former has 3.
Now that I have 3 points to my name, what does this mean for me?

Penalties are more strict for new drivers. You might get driver improvement program prohibition.  If you only got 1 ticket worth 3 points then normally the consequence would be an automatic review of your license by the superintendent, and a possible 1-6 month prohibition, but it’s based on the discretion of the superintendent. You can get all the details here on page 13 (but these too are just general guidelines).  I recommend driving on your very best behaviour for the entire duration of the N – and after that – as that’s the best way to keep out of all the different types of trouble that there are available.

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Q: Hi, I have my n and I recently got a 12 hour suspension for having consumed alcohol and driven.

I blew a .04 and was given a 12 hour suspension to which the officer assured me I wouldn’t lose my license or anything by those means. But I am now being told by icbc I may very well lose it and that I can’t appeal or anything. I have driven with a perfectly clean record for 15 months before this incident. Do you think I will lose my license and is there anything I can do to protect myself from losing it. Thanks.

The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles will take action in the form of a driving prohibition for a period of 1 to 3 months.

The prohibition period increases if the driver incurs another prohibition or suspension. In addition, a new driver must be suspension or prohibition free for a period of two years in order to take the test to obtain a full privilege driver’s license. The World Health Organization states that alcohol and driving without seat belts remain key factors in young driver crashes and resulting deaths and injuries. While not all drivers in the GLP are young drivers the 12 hour suspension is another tool to sanction those who choose to drink and drive.

Another quote from this government document

If a new driver receives one IRP, one 12-hour suspension, or one 24-hour prohibition they will receive driver improvement action.


Driver Improvement Program

Not Displaying N Sign Consequences

Q: If you have an N and get pulled over becuz it wasn’t displayed( fallen off, stolen, whichever) and are ticketed for this, can the superintendent prohibit you from driving and take your licence away?

For the “fail to display N or L” It looks like it’s a $109 ticket with 0 penalty points, and it seems that the Superintendent automatically reviews the driver if they have 3 or more points for a GLP driver. 

Officers do have the choice of issuing the ticket under 25(15) MVA – Drive Contrary to Conditions of Licence (3 points) or 25.15 MVAR – Fail to Display New Driver Sign (0 points).

Most will choose the latter, but for repeat offenders the former may be appropriate.

“For these drivers (GLP: ‘L’s and ‘N’s) violation tickets can be issued for any electronic distraction, including hands-free devices and always comes with 3 penalty points.

As well, the driving record of any GLP driver with 3 points or more will automatically undergo a review by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles – see the Driver Improvement Program page on this site.

If the Superintendent issues a driving prohibition to a driver in the Novice stage, the 24-month Novice driving period starts over when the prohibition ends and the novice driver gets re-licensed.”

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Dry Steering While Driving Your Car

Have you ever heard of Dry Steering? If you haven’t, don’t worry. A lot of people don’t know what this is. But it’s good to learn about dry steering while driving your car for several reasons. Especially if you like your car.

Most importantly, it can save you time, money, and hassle. If you don’t care about any of that, then stop reading this right now.

So what is dry steering while driving anyway?

Dry steering is when you are turning the steering wheel with the vehicle completely stationary.

This can strain your power steering system. For example, the rack and pinion, pump, tie rods, bearings.

It can also prematurely wear your tires.

Being nice to your tires is highly recommended, since they’re the only things keeping you in contact with the pavement.

In addition, cost and safety issues are a real thing. You could be grinding rocks into your tread, which could then go flying at high speeds.

Avoiding dry steering is fairly easy with some practice.

Simply make sure the vehicle is moving – if even at an incredibly slow speed – while you’re turning the steering wheel.

When I first started teaching people how to drive I noticed that a lot of people were already dry-steering. Maybe because that’s what they saw their parents do. Or what their parents taught them.

It’s not that the car is going to burst into flames if you dry-steer the steering wheel. It’s just extra wear and tear on your vehicle. And it’s not too difficult to learn how to drive without dry steering.

Once you learn and practice, it will just become second nature. If you are in a situation that you do feel like you need to turn the steering wheel when the car is stopped, it’s not the end of the world.

It’s just good to know in case you are one of those people who likes to save money and hassles in the car repair department.

Can You Drive with a Taped Bumper?

I don’t know of any law that says it’s illegal to drive with tape on your bumper

Taped bumper? If you have a crash and your bumper has fallen off the car and is ‘over there’ somewhere on the other side of the road, then do not drive the car anymore until you get it fixed.

The point of a bumper usually is to provide a crumple zone/impact absorption in the case of a collision; in other words to protect you in a crash.

If you are rear-ended and your car has no bumper, it will probably cause a lot more injury (whiplash) than if your car did have one.

In addition, I’m not sure if there would be liability issues, since I’m pretty sure it is a legal requirement that your car have a bumper on it (as long the car came with one from the factory).

If your bumper was hanging by a thread, and you used 5 rolls of duct tape to put it back in place, then I can’t be sure it’s going to help in the event of a collision.

If you merely backed into a sharp object or a child was playing with some scissors and cut a nice hole, and you have tape on your bumper for mostly cosmetic reasons, then that is obviously less of a problem. In any event, be sure your tail lights, brake lights, and signal lights can easily be seen and are working properly.

Have your bumper repaired as soon as is reasonably possible. At the very least, have your bumper assessed by a body shop to ensure the structural integrity (is it as safe as it could be in the event of a collision).

Is It Illegal to Drive With Only One Hand on the Steering Wheel?

Is it illegal to drive with only one hand on the steering wheel?

No, it’s not illegal as there is no law written against it

At least, not in Beautiful British Columbia.

However, it is highly recommended to drive with two hands on the wheel for proper control of the vehicle.

This is especially important during sudden or unexpected situations or emergencies.

Often those two seconds it takes to get your hand onto the wheel in an emergency is two seconds too long.

ICBC will not qualify drivers on the road test if they’re driving with only one hand on the wheel.

And I am not 100% sure but if a traffic officer saw you driving down the highway with your knees, you could perhaps still receive a
“undue care and attention” ticket, or something like that.

Is It Illegal Not to Signal?

Yes it’s illegal if you do not signal your intentions before maneuvers.

You are legally required to signal before pulling over, pulling into traffic, lane changing, parking, merging, turning right and left, etc.

And yes you can get a ticket for failing to signal your intentions.

151 – Change Lanes without Signal – $109 & 2 Penalty Points

170(1) No Signal on Turn – $121 & 2 Penalty Points

ICBC Fines & Points

More thoughts on the Illegal Not to Signal

Technically, you are required to signal if there is someone to signal to. This makes sense considering the point of a turn signal is to tell other people what you are about to do and/or would like to do! (What a concept lol)

If you are the only person around and driving at 4 AM all by yourself on the road then technically you do not have to signal.

But keep in mind you are still required to signal to any type of road user that is present. That includes pedestrians & cyclists, as well as drivers. And, this includes people that you may not notice when driving at 4 AM.

I would recommend to just do it as a regular habit. It’s not difficult and safety is improved whenever others can anticipate your actions.

Turn Signal
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 Motor Vehicle Act

Signals on turning

170  (1) If traffic may be affected by turning a vehicle, a person must not turn it without giving the appropriate signal under sections 171 and 172.

(2) If a signal of intention to turn right or left is required, a driver must give it continuously for sufficient distance before making the turn to warn traffic.

(3) If there is an opportunity to give a signal, a driver must not stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving the appropriate signal under sections 171 and 172.

Means of signalling

171  (1) Subject to subsection (2), if a signal is required a driver must give it by means of

(a) his or her hand and arm,

(b) a signal lamp of a type approved by the director, or

(c) a mechanical device of a type approved by the director.

(2) When a vehicle is constructed or loaded in a manner that makes a signal by hand and arm not visible both to its front and rear, or a body or load extends more than 60 cm to the left of the centre of the steering wheel, a driver must give signals as provided by paragraph (1) (a) or (b), and a person must not drive the motor vehicle on a highway unless it is so equipped.

Is it illegal to Not Signal When Merging?

Yes, you are legally required to signal BEFORE merging

Merging onto a highway is technically the same maneuver as a lane change (you’re just driving faster)

Signals are important in this case to warn traffic that you’re planning a movement, especially during those instances where the on ramp and the off ramp is the same lane.

Do I have to Signal if I’m in a Turning Lane?


Legally you must signal if you’re in a turning lane. Sure, it’s obvious to you that you are going to turn, but what about pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles facing you, especially those who aren’t familiar with the area?

Other road users may be planning movements, so it is best to signal to avoid confusion. Also remember that not everyone is a driver. Pedestrians who aren’t drivers are sometimes particularly clueless, so signals can help them for sure.

signal in turning lane
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turn signal in left turn lane
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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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