We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Don’t race when there is no safe space

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, September 22th 2017

Drivers navigate the McTavish interchange in North Saanich. The vehicle driver in the multi-lane roundabout has the priority over all others entering, Steve Wallace writes.



Here are some answers to readers’ questions. Rita wanted to know if she can make a legal right turn on a red light if the opposite traffic flow is turning left on an advance green flashing light, in a multi-lane configuration.

There is a danger that the driver turning left could go wide into the outside lane, which would conflict with the right turn on a solid red light.
The driver turning right in this situation must only turn right when safe to do so.
It is best to turn right only when there is a sizable gap between the oncoming left turners.

Rita was prompted to proceed by an irate driver blasting the horn. The best advice in this situation is don’t race when there is no safe space.
Lynda wanted a simple explanation of right-of-way at traffic circles.
The vehicle driver in the multi-lane roundabout has the priority over all others entering. There is a legal requirement to signal one’s intention to leave a roundabout or change lanes, but not to enter.

A traffic circle is a single-lane roundabout.

A diverter is a neighbourhood traffic circle.
The same rules apply at a diverter as at an uncontrolled or a four-way stop intersection.
The first one to arrive goes first.

If vehicles arrive at the same time, the one on the right goes first.

Robin wanted to know who has the right-of-way on a narrow street with a solid yellow line, when parked cars cause a driver to drive on that very lane line.
The vehicle travelling on the side of the street where parking is permitted must yield to oncoming traffic. It is a very confusing situation and a headache for police and insurance companies alike.

Patrick mentions the advantage of having convex side mirrors attached to the side-view mirrors.
Many senior drivers do not have the neck flexibility necessary to do a proper blind-spot check when turning, changing lanes or pulling on and off the road from a parking space.
No professional driver feels comfortable behind the wheel without convex mirrors and every senior should have them, too.

Alex requested a review of the proper way to merge onto and safely leave the freeway.
It is very important to match the speed of highway traffic when entering the freeway.
Drivers should look at the spaces between the vehicles.

These spaces are much bigger and their speed is easier to judge than that of the vehicles between them.
You will never hit a space and it will never hit you.
Drivers should leave a high-speed freeway at freeway speed.

Never slow on the freeway lane before entering the exit lane, unless one is being obstructed by congested traffic ahead.
The credo of every traffic-control agency seems to be: keep the traffic moving.

Several readers demanded a return to the topic of a legal left turn at a red light onto a one-way street.
In B.C., it is allowable for a driver to turn left into the immediate lane of a one-way street, after coming to a complete stop at a solid red light, provided there are no pedestrians or vehicular traffic impeding such an action.

This is probably the most misunderstood rule of the road.
Most all other provinces forbid this action.
Saskatchewan will allow it, but only from a one-way street to a one-way street. In B.C., it does not matter what type of street the driver is occupying, whether a one-way or two-way street.

It only matters that they are driving onto a one-way street when making such a left turn.






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