You’re not supposed to cross double solid yellow line on the road

Don't cross double solid

Back in 2009, I was asked about not crossing a double solid yellow line when driving. Two friends were talking about it and thought there had been an update that allowed a driver to cross a double line under certain circumstances. Was this true?

The rules regarding double solid yellow lines on British Columbia highways have not changed, yet. They require that a driver remain to the right of them at all times:

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,

Strictly speaking, this means that as soon as your left side tires stray onto the lines themselves, you have broken the rule. 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.

Currently, there is a single exemption to the rule that allows drivers to get on and off the highway:

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.

The courts place the onus is on the driver doing this to exercise “a very high degree of care” and to keep a “sharp lookout” when crossing a double solid line.

A change is on the horizon in Bill 23 2023 meant to protect vulnerable road users:

Duty when overtaking pedestrians, cyclists or certain other persons

157.1 (3) A driver who takes an action that would otherwise contravene section 151 (b), (f) or (g) or 155 (1) does not contravene the provision if

(a) the action is taken while the driver is causing the vehicle to pass a person in compliance with this section, and

(b) the driver has ascertained that the action can be taken safely and without affecting the travel of another vehicle.

Progress of bills shows that the change has received royal assent but as of this writing has not been proclaimed to be in effect.

I have seen many ticket disputes for crossing a double solid line with justifications ranging from "I wasn't passing anyone" to "My car wasn't completely over the line." Until the change is proclaimed in effect, the only exemption continues to be crossing in order to enter or leave the highway.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Behind the Wheel articles

About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories