A whole bunch of New Driver Questions – Answered in Detail

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?


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.



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

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! 


Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada and is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, artist, philosopher, certified day dreamer and generally complicated human.

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