Dear Cop - Right Of Way

This summer I was enjoying a relatively carbon-monoxide free ride going down Springfield from Rutland towards downtown. I was on the right-hand side of the road in the bike lane. A car coming in the opposite direction making a left turn slowed down, let the car pass that was coming up on my left side in my direction and turned right in front of me as I was entering the intersection. We both yelled at each other as to who had the right of way. I think I am considered a moving vehicle in that situation. She obviously didn't. Who is right?


Dear D.P.

Although a cyclist is not classified as a "vehicle" under the Motor Vehicle Act, you are a road user and you have the same rights and duties as the driver of a vehicle as per Section 183 of the Motor Vehicle Act. However, keep in mind when a cyclist is involved in a collision with a vehicle, the cyclist will always be the injured party regardless of who is at fault.
If the intersection is governed by a traffic light and the light is green then the cyclist should have the right of way given the circumstances provided. If the light was yellow or red, a cyclist is required to stop.
As per Section 174 of the Motor Vehicle Act, a driver making a left turn must yield the right of way to all through traffic which includes cyclists.
Cyclist guru John Forester states "Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles."

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison

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

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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.

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

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