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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 08-06-2009, 09:14 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Double Solid Yellow Lines

Could you talk about the rule about not crossing a double line when driving? A friend and I were talking about this and she thought there had been an update on this rule, that you were allowed to cross a double line under certain circumstances, though she could not remember what the circumstances were.

The rules regarding double solid yellow lines on British Columbia highways have not changed. They require that a driver remain to the right of them at all times. Technically, this means that as soon as your left side tires stray onto the lines themselves, you have broken those rules. You are not even allowed to cross them in order to avoid an obstruction on the highway as you may with single lines or a combination of single and broken lines.

I have seen many ticket disputes for crossing a double solid line ranging from "I wasn't passing anyone" to "my car wasn't completely over the line." One gentleman even tried to explain that he was avoiding an article on the road by going around it to the left. Had he slowed down and gone around it on the right where there was room to pass by safely, he would have avoided joining all these people who were convicted by the traffic court justice.

There is only one exemption to the requirement to keep right and that is when a driver is entering or leaving the highway. Given the extremely broad definition of the word highway in the Motor Vehicle Act, this is not an easy thing to do. For instance, turning over a double solid line to enter the driveway of a service station or a store parking lot is not leaving the highway, as these places are considered to be part of the highway. In fact, the only example that easily comes to my mind is when I enter or exit a residential driveway although there may be other examples.

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Old 08-06-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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always a good reminder there, I've also had a number of friends confused thinking that a single solid had the same effect as a double solid. I argued that if that was the case, why would they waste the paint for the extra line?

Skidmark you could sell a book about BC highway laws that are commonly misconceived and have some good sales haha
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:49 PM   #3
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There is only one exemption to the requirement to keep right and that is when a driver is entering or leaving the highway. Given the extremely broad definition of the word highway in the Motor Vehicle Act, this is not an easy thing to do. For instance, turning over a double solid line to enter the driveway of a service station or a store parking lot is not leaving the highway, as these places are considered to be part of the highway. In fact, the only example that easily comes to my mind is when I enter or exit a residential driveway although there may be other examples.
I would submit that this was merely an oversight when they wrote that. I mean, why the hell else would you turn left over a double yellow??? I think some common sense is needed there.

I think generally, in real life, most places where people would be commonly turning off the highway, the double-solid paint is suspened. If not, it's either because they don't want you turning there, or they forgot to suspend it. If it's safe and you're not holding up traffic, there's no reason why you should get a ticket for turning off the highway over a double yellow.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:44 AM   #4
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Good reminder skidmark

I do a lot of travelling across the country for work, seeing as a ticket is the quickest way to say goodbye to a day’s pay and I get paid by the hour, I tend to stay around the speed limit. If some idiot feels the need to do 30 over the speed limit I have no problem letting him pass, but it really gets to me when they pass me on a double yellow. The reason its double yellow is because it’s unsafe to pass. I don’t understand how some people don’t realise that and feel the need to pass me on a 2 lane road around a corner. I have seen way to many close calls because of someone not being able to see oncoming traffic when passing around a corner. The worst part is usually after that corner there’s a passing lane.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:01 AM   #5
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So you generally CAN'T turn left into parking lots over double yellows unless it's residential driveway? That's dumb.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:26 AM   #6
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So you generally CAN'T turn left into parking lots over double yellows unless it's residential driveway? That's dumb.
ummm its always been like that you must be one of thoughs ppl that slows down traffic all the way during rush hour when u wanna turn into a superstore parking lot or something from the opposite side instead of going at the corner where theres a light
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:31 PM   #7
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So you generally CAN'T turn left into parking lots over double yellows unless it's residential driveway? That's dumb.
I agree, that's dumb. I don't think anyone's gonna try to differentiate this. If it's safe, I'd say just turn. This little rule is technicality at it's best right there.


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ummm its always been like that you must be one of thoughs ppl that slows down traffic all the way during rush hour when u wanna turn into a superstore parking lot or something from the opposite side instead of going at the corner where theres a light
So you're saying you knew all along that there was a difference between turning left across a double yellow into a shell gas station or mall parking lot VS turning left into your own driveway?
Good for you but I'm not surprised if the average joe doesn't. The Roadsense book certainly doesn't go into such technical details. The MVA at the particular section only mentions 'leaving the highway' which intuitively means turning left into a parking lot or alley or w/e.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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there's no reason why you should get a ticket for turning off the highway over a double yellow.
Except that most places people choose are illegal. When the authorities want to permit it, they leave a gap in the lines.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:36 PM   #9
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Skidmark,

what about single solid yellows with regards to "leaving the highway". I've always thought based on the MVA and Roadsense that the only difference between the double vs single line was with regards to passing another vehicle.

So basically, if it's a single yellow, you can't turn into a gas station or mall parking lot either then right? You also can't hold up traffic right?

seems to me that to 90% of the people out there, if it's a single yellow it's ok, but when it's a double they get their panties in a bunch when they get held up.

What's up with that, can't people at least be consistent if they choose to complain?
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:38 PM   #10
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The MVA at the particular section only mentions 'leaving the highway' which intuitively means turning left into a parking lot or alley or w/e.
The trouble with law is that "intuitively" often lands you in trouble. What most people don't know is that:

"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;
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:39 PM   #11
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^ well for starters they don't mean the same thing. a single solid means you can cross it when safe to do so, ie turning into a parking lot off a small street. but a busier street will have a double solid, because if you do try to turn there, you're just gonna create problems as there's too much traffic.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:43 PM   #12
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The trouble with law is that "intuitively" often lands you in trouble. What most people don't know is that:
I agree, I'm merely pointing out how the average joe can't possibly know this based on the MVA. Even then MOST people follow the Roadsense book only which DOES NOT state this.

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^ well for starters they don't mean the same thing. a single solid means you can cross it when safe to do so, ie turning into a parking lot off a small street. but a busier street will have a double solid, because if you do try to turn there, you're just gonna create problems as there's too much traffic.
passing != turning


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Highway lines

155 (1) Despite anything in this Part, if a highway is marked with

(a) a solid double line, the driver of a vehicle must drive it to the right of the line only,

(b) a double line consisting of a broken line and a solid line,

(i) the driver of a vehicle proceeding along the highway on the side of the broken line must drive the vehicle to the right of the double line, except when passing an overtaken vehicle, and

(ii) the driver of a vehicle proceeding along the highway on the side of the solid line must drive the vehicle to the right of the double line, except only when finishing the passing of an overtaken vehicle, and

(c) one single line, broken or solid, the driver of a vehicle must drive the vehicle to the right of the line, except only when passing an overtaken vehicle.

(2) Subsection (1) (b) (i) and (c) do not apply if a driver is avoiding an obstruction on the highway and first ascertains that the movement can be made with safety and without affecting the travel of any other vehicle.

Suspension of sections 151 and 155

156
If the driver of a vehicle is causing the vehicle to enter or leave a highway and the driver has ascertained that he or she might do so with safety and does so without unreasonably affecting the travel of another vehicle, the provisions of sections 151 and 155 are suspended with respect to the driver while the vehicle is entering or leaving the highway.
as you can see, the suspension applies section 155 which talks about single, broken or not, as well as double yellows. Hell based on this it aplies to SINGLE BROKEN yellows?
how does this make sense?

In Richmond, on Alexandria Rd near Kwantlen St where there are all those parking lots for different restaurants, there's a single broken yellow. That means everyone there making left turns into the parking lots are breaking the law!

lol ridiculous
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:45 PM   #13
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155(1)(c) one single line, broken or solid, the driver of a vehicle must drive the vehicle to the right of the line, except only when passing an overtaken vehicle.

The exemption is:

156 If the driver of a vehicle is causing the vehicle to enter or leave a highway and the driver has ascertained that he or she might do so with safety and does so without unreasonably affecting the travel of another vehicle, the provisions of sections 151 and 155 are suspended with respect to the driver while the vehicle is entering or leaving the highway.

So, even with a single solid or broken line you are still hung up with anything other than passing.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:55 PM   #14
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ummm its always been like that you must be one of thoughs ppl that slows down traffic all the way during rush hour when u wanna turn into a superstore parking lot or something from the opposite side instead of going at the corner where theres a light
No, I'm one of those people that already knew the wording of this rule in the MVA because I had looked into it before.

I knew you were allowed to turn left across double yellows to leave the highway.

I just didn't know that "TECHNICALLY", the highway still includes the driveways for commercial locations, but not residential.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:48 PM   #15
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Speaking of turning across yellow lines...

I really wish people would exercise common sense before making turns like these...

Just about an hour ago i was on 12th Ave trying to cross kingsway when some idiot decides to turn left across the yellow just 30 feet PAST the intersection...
held up traffic for a pretty long time but the problem was that most people behind were stuck in the middle of the intersection thanks to that idiot.

see pic
http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/9123/dfkldjk.jpg

I'm a pretty easy going guy and could care less if you decide to bust a left midblock. But use common sense and don't attempt to turn if a) oncoming traffic is heavy and you most likely won't be able to turn within the next 10 seconds...and b) don't try to do this JUSt after passing an intersection!!! The cars you hold up end up being stuck in the damn intersection...
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:57 PM   #16
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You are not even allowed to cross them in order to avoid an obstruction on the highway as you may with single lines or a combination of single and broken lines.

I have seen many ticket disputes for crossing a double solid line ranging from "I wasn't passing anyone" to "my car wasn't completely over the line." One gentleman even tried to explain that he was avoiding an article on the road by going around it to the left. Had he slowed down and gone around it on the right where there was room to pass by safely, he would have avoided joining all these people who were convicted by the traffic court justice.
What if the obstruction was a person?
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:59 PM   #17
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Hey skidmark,

just another question.
As you are aware how most of us never knew about this whole "service stations, parking lots" being part of the highway and thus 90% of the left turns midblock we've been doing were 100% illegal.

Just wondering
from the Roadsense book
Quote:
Turns in the middle of a block

Most drivers expect other traffic to turn at an intersection.
Sometimes you may wish to turn left in the middle of a block,
such as into a driveway. While it is safer to plan your route so
that you can make a right turn, you may turn left — including
turning left over a solid double yellow line — provided you do this
carefully and safely and don’t impede other traffic, and there are
no signs prohibiting such turns.
The average joe who reads this is gonna think exactly what we've all been thinking. Would this be enough to invalidate the ticket if we were to get one? I know ignorance is no excuse but this is pretty much misleading information for the average joe who's not gonna look up the MVA and then search up what "highway" consists of.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:25 PM   #18
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bump
hopefully an officer can answer this?

I'm sure this isn't the only rule that's mentioned to be legal in Roadsense, whereas the MVA would go into more detail resulting in certain situations to be illegal....
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:47 PM   #19
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I'd still like to know if I can cross a double yellow if the obstruction is a person or animal.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:06 AM   #20
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So if someone is blocking a single lane of traffic... attempting to turn left across a solid yellow line.. (single or double!)...

I'm well within my rights to lean on the horn constantly to get them to move... as they are ultimately breaking the law.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:33 AM   #21
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^
If the wait is long and it's obvious they won't be able to make the turn for a long time, then yes. Otherwise, it makes you a douche and it's not gonna get them to cancel the turn.

And my question was about times when you turn without blocking traffic. Skidmark's saying if there are no cars behind you to hold up and you want to turn left across the single yellow into the Denny's parking lot for instance, it's illegal because Denny's is considered part of the highway.

The Roadsense book, however, doesn't go into such details, as per my quote above, it merely says if you don't impede traffic you can turn left in the middle of a block across any line.

Due to this, I think it's not fair to receive a ticket for this offense just because of the "leaving the highway" clause. How would the average joe know? They are basically being misled by the book in this case.

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Old 08-15-2009, 03:58 AM   #22
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from the Roadsense book
Wow, that's some pretty damning evidence to contradict what skidmark posted. The Roadsense booklet says you can turn left across double yellows into driveways, and it does not discriminate between commercial or residential.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:35 AM   #23
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The trouble is, the RoadSense for Drivers manual is not the law. In fact, there is a statement of limitations in it that says:

Throughout this guide, references are made to acts and regulations that govern driving in British
Columbia. This guide refl ects the law in British Columbia as set out in these acts and regulations
as of November 1, 2008. These references are written in plain language to help you understand
their impact on individual drivers. In the event of a difference between the material included in
RoadSense for Drivers and any of these acts or regulations, the acts and regulations shall apply.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:44 AM   #24
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^
If the wait is long and it's obvious they won't be able to make the turn for a long time, then yes. Otherwise, it makes you a douche and it's not gonna get them to cancel the turn.

And my question was about times when you turn without blocking traffic. Skidmark's saying if there are no cars behind you to hold up and you want to turn left across the single yellow into the Denny's parking lot for instance, it's illegal because Denny's is considered part of the highway.

The Roadsense book, however, doesn't go into such details, as per my quote above, it merely says if you don't impede traffic you can turn left in the middle of a block across any line.

Due to this, I think it's not fair to receive a ticket for this offense just because of the "leaving the highway" clause. How would the average joe know? They are basically being misled by the book in this case.
If there's no traffic, fair enough. But how often is there no traffic on Broadway?
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:25 AM   #25
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Wow, that's some pretty damning evidence to contradict what skidmark posted. The Roadsense booklet says you can turn left across double yellows into driveways, and it does not discriminate between commercial or residential.
commercial driveways tend to lead to parking lots, which count as a highway
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