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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 06-09-2011, 12:20 PM   #1
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Right Turn Clarification

I got a ticket last night and I'm now thinking that I may have been a idiot all these years.
I was always under the impression that for a right turn at a intersection, if the light is green, or just turned yellow as you hit the intersection, then you can proceed as you would if going straight (as long as there are no pedestrians crossing).

I was on Howe last night night, turning onto Smithe, as I hit the intersection the light turned yellow, I completed my turn, and almost immediately, I was pulled over by a officer on a motorcycle.

He issued me a ticket for not stopping/turning on a red, and added that if I disputed, he would slap on the fact that I turned into the wrong lane (so second lane from the right).

Now if you are supposed to stop regardless for a right turn, I have no problems paying the ticket, since I would've still done something illegal, even if he said it was a red light when it was not. But this is also the first time that an interaction with a police officer has left a sour taste in my mouth as he said that I turned into the wrong lane, which I am 100% certain I did not. He didn't say that my wheels crossed the line into the lane beside me or something along those lines, he said I was IN the lane beside me.

Just to add, in case it makes a difference, the officer was already on Smithe, on the left side of the intersection I was turning right on. When I saw the flashing lights, and stopped, from my rear view mirror, the cars with him at the intersection still had not crossed the intersection yet.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wstce92 View Post
I was always under the impression that for a right turn at a intersection, if the light is green, or just turned yellow as you hit the intersection, then you can proceed as you would if going straight (as long as there are no pedestrians crossing).
You can.

You essentially got a ticket for running a yellow.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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a yellow means that you have to stop if it's safe to do so. If it was safe for you to come to a complete stop first before making the turn, then you have to. The only time you can turn right without stopping is if it's an advance right turn light or if it's a green light and the crosswalk is clear.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:50 PM   #4
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if its yellow your supposed to wait for the left turners to go and then you can go
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:59 PM   #5
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if its yellow your supposed to wait for the left turners to go and then you can go
It's a one way street, so no left turners and no pedestrians
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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if its yellow your supposed to wait for the left turners to go and then you can go
Not exactly. If it's a yellow, you're supposed to come to a complete stop (if it is safe to do so, but since you're slowing down to do a right turn, you shouldn't be going very fast anyways), then turn right if it is safe to do so.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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Yellow light

128 (1) When a yellow light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal, following the exhibition of a green light,

(a) the driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection and facing the yellow light must cause it to stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, before entering the intersection, unless the stop cannot be made in safety,



That is what you got a VT for...you didn't stop before entering the intersection. As he didn't ticket you for not entering the closest lane (even if the tip of your vehicle enters the lane for a second, you still entered the wrong lane). If you keep 1 m from the curb on your right turns there will be no chance of you swinging too wide. Were you going a bit fast when trying to beat the light and that let you swing wide? Just asking.

Dealing with his position across the intersection...lights first go yellow, then red for you. Then there is a pause and they go green for the other side. He doesn't have to be moving into the intgersection for you to be convicted for failing to stop for the yellow light. It went yellow several sceonds before the opposing traffic would actually begin to move.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:15 PM   #8
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No chance I swung wide. I was slowing down to turn, so I wasn't going fast enough to swing wide. All was clear so I entered the intersection, once I was over the line, light turned yellow, so as I was already turning. So if I was to slam on my brakes once I saw the yellow I'd be halfway turned.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:35 PM   #9
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so go dispute it and argue your case. i was in traffic court once and a trucker had the same type of ticket he got when turning Right onto Willingdown from Canada Way in Burnaby. The JP listened to both the driver and the officer and ruled in favor of the driver because the officer could not prove the light was already yellow when the driver entered the intersection...
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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so go dispute it and argue your case. i was in traffic court once and a trucker had the same type of ticket he got when turning Right onto Willingdown from Canada Way in Burnaby. The JP listened to both the driver and the officer and ruled in favor of the driver because the officer could not prove the light was already yellow when the driver entered the intersection...
I always thought if its an officers word vs yours, the judge would rule in favor of the officer? That's why I had planned on just paying for this and I was just going to post asking if I had a dash cam, would I be on grounds to dispute.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:46 PM   #11
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Not to mention he told me in a pretty threatening tone that if I disputed, he'd slap on the offense for turning into the wrong lane
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #12
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So if we believe you then, you were across the crosswalk line and into the intersection and beginning your turn when the light turned yellow and you saw it turn yellow as you turned, therefore therefore there was no reason to stop for the yellow? You are saying then that the MotorCop who was stopped, sitting at the light with a clear view of you and the same changing yellow lights, is wrong in what he saw? You will also have to explain that you were doing this while doing a blind spot check to your right and looking in your direction of travel. I'm assuming that the yellow light was behind you and off to your left side as you turned right. That is what you will have to convince the JP really happened. Good luck.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:12 PM   #13
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My understanding is that you can enter the intersection on a yellow as long as you make it past the other end of the intersection before the light turns red.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:09 PM   #14
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My understanding is that you can enter the intersection on a yellow as long as you make it past the other end of the intersection before the light turns red.
No, you can only enter an intersection under a yellow light if it is unsafe for you to try to stop before the intersection.

Whether or not the light turns red while you are in the intersection is irrelevant in regards to that specific charge, although an enforcement officer could argue that if it turns red while you where in the intersection, you would have had enough time to see the yellow and come to a safe stop.

All you have to do is argue that you felt it would have been unsafe to stop, despite what it may looked like from a 3rd person's perspective.

When I approach an intersection, even if my light is green, I look to either side for traffic who may be about to run their red light and t-bone me. Sometimes while I am looking for traffic MY light turns yellow, and by the time I notice it, it would be unsafe/unreasonable for me to try to stop - especially at intersections where there is only the high mounted traffic light, and not the low mounted one. To a 3rd party police officer, it may look like I was 'running the yellow' but they are not 'inside my car, seeing what I'm seeing' and in those messed up situations where there's reasonable doubt as to whether or not someone may have been able to stop, they should not be enforcing that rule.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:23 PM   #15
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I got a ticket last night and I'm now thinking that I may have been a idiot all these years.
I was always under the impression that for a right turn at a intersection, if the light is green, or just turned yellow as you hit the intersection, then you can proceed as you would if going straight (as long as there are no pedestrians crossing).

I was on Howe last night night, turning onto Smithe, as I hit the intersection the light turned yellow, I completed my turn, and almost immediately, I was pulled over by a officer on a motorcycle.

He issued me a ticket for not stopping/turning on a red, and added that if I disputed, he would slap on the fact that I turned into the wrong lane (so second lane from the right).

Now if you are supposed to stop regardless for a right turn, I have no problems paying the ticket, since I would've still done something illegal, even if he said it was a red light when it was not. But this is also the first time that an interaction with a police officer has left a sour taste in my mouth as he said that I turned into the wrong lane, which I am 100% certain I did not. He didn't say that my wheels crossed the line into the lane beside me or something along those lines, he said I was IN the lane beside me.


Just to add, in case it makes a difference, the officer was already on Smithe, on the left side of the intersection I was turning right on. When I saw the flashing lights, and stopped, from my rear view mirror, the cars with him at the intersection still had not crossed the intersection yet.
You do not have to come to a stop if you are turning RIGHT and your light is green. Unless, of course, there are pedestrians crossing or bicycles directly right of your car. (although if you have a right hand turn signal out, bicycles have no business trying to pass you on your right..)

The issue here is the cop thinks you entered the intersection in an unsafe/illegal manner, and he's using what tools he has to penalise you. If you think he is wrong, dispute it. I think it is reprehensible when an officer threatens more severe penalties if you dispute a ticket. I feel that it is abuse of authority and it is an attempt to discourage the use of the justice system that WE PAY FOR and our ancestors died in war to give us the RIGHT to use. A police officer should NEVER discourage someone from disputing a violation ticket.

Last edited by Rich Sandor; 06-09-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:34 AM   #16
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My understanding is that you can enter the intersection on a yellow as long as you make it past the other end of the intersection before the light turns red.
Read post #7. Nope.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:15 PM   #17
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You do not have to come to a stop if you are turning RIGHT and your light is green. Unless, of course, there are pedestrians crossing or bicycles directly right of your car. (although if you have a right hand turn signal out, bicycles have no business trying to pass you on your right..)

The issue here is the cop thinks you entered the intersection in an unsafe/illegal manner, and he's using what tools he has to penalise you. If you think he is wrong, dispute it. I think it is reprehensible when an officer threatens more severe penalties if you dispute a ticket. I feel that it is abuse of authority and it is an attempt to discourage the use of the justice system that WE PAY FOR and our ancestors died in war to give us the RIGHT to use. A police officer should NEVER discourage someone from disputing a violation ticket.
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So if we believe you then, you were across the crosswalk line and into the intersection and beginning your turn when the light turned yellow and you saw it turn yellow as you turned, therefore therefore there was no reason to stop for the yellow? You are saying then that the MotorCop who was stopped, sitting at the light with a clear view of you and the same changing yellow lights, is wrong in what he saw? You will also have to explain that you were doing this while doing a blind spot check to your right and looking in your direction of travel. I'm assuming that the yellow light was behind you and off to your left side as you turned right. That is what you will have to convince the JP really happened. Good luck.
1) What's with the attitude zulu? You don't have to believe me, I was only asking for clarification on whether you had to stop for a right turn regardless.
And while on this, I had also just wanted clarification on an officer's word vs mine in court, as I was hesitant to dispute as I've always heard that the judge will side with an officer.
Which leads to something I was about to ask, whether a dash cam would have made this an open and shut case for me.
I have complete respect for the police and I will respect, within reason, their judgement if they feel I deserve a ticket. I never jump on police bashing bandwagons when bad press involving them come out, unless its completely ridiculous of course, I understand that their job is hard. But does that mean there arent a small number of bad apples in the force? You can't accept that the officer who pulled me over was a bad apple and couldve been wrong?

PS. How could the light be behind me? And stopping once I saw the yellow would mean being in the intersection...

2) Rich, this paticular officer didn't stop at threatening additional offenses if I disputed, he was very unprofessional in some things he said to me and has been the only interaction with police so far in my life that has left a bad taste in my mouth. I've got thick skin, so whatever, but at the same time, I don't want to deal with him again, so like I said before, adds to my hesitance to dispute.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:21 PM   #18
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PS. How could the light be behind me? And stopping once I saw the yellow would mean being in the intersection...


Most intersections I have driven thru have a light on the right shoulder and one across the intersection on the other side. Once you got onto the crosswalk the light to your right would be behind you would it not ? The light across the intersection might be visible if you looked to your left as you made your right turn. You would have to be looking at this particular light to see it turn yellow if you had already entered the intersection and at that point there would be no requirement to stop...because you were not "approaching and facing" the yellow light. As far as believing you goes...I assume you are asking us to believe you are you not, or there would be no point to your post. The responses I gave you were to educate you on the requirements and specifics needed to either beat or loose the yellow light ticket. The Crown testomony will have to be detailed and specific as far as where you were when the light turned yellow and what you did when it turned. It is up to you to cast doubt on that evidence to not get convicted. If you have credible evidence that contradicts the Crown then the JP may find in your favour...if you don't then he finds in favour of the Crown. That's the way traffic court goes.
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