Drivers are sometimes confused by what they are required to do by law as they approach an intersection and the traffic light turns from green to yellow. This situation is governed by the Motor Vehicle Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 318. A lot of drivers assume that they can accelerate their vehicle to try to get through the intersection while their light remained yellow or had just turned red.
An especially dangerous situation can arise when, as you approach the intersection, your light turns yellow and there is a vehicle going in the opposite direction that is in the intersection with its left-hand turn signal on.
Section 128 of the Act states the driver of a vehicle that is approaching the intersection which faces a yellow light must cause their vehicle to come to a 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.
In practical terms, this means that if you can bring your vehicle safely to a stop when you see the light turn from green to yellow, you must do so. You cannot decide that you will still be able to get through the intersection while the light is yellow or has just turned red. For example, if you are doing 50 km an hour and your light turned yellow when your vehicle is the length of your vehicle way from the intersection, you do not have to slam on your brakes and come to a stop in the middle of intersection. It is lawful for you to proceed through the intersection on the yellow light and the vehicle going in the opposite direction should not attempt to make its left-hand turn until your vehicle clears the intersection. On the other hand, if you’re doing 50 km an hour and the light turned yellow and you were back far enough from the intersection that you could come to a safe stop, you cannot decide to accelerate so that you can get through the intersection while the light is still yellow or has just turned red. Often times unfortunately, you do see drivers who ignore this road rule and actually accelerate as they approach an intersection and the light turns yellow. This is the cause of many collisions at intersections with resulting claims for personal injuries.
If you have been injured in a car accident call Drysdale Lawyers at 604-LAWYERS for a free consultation.