229481
232328
Behind-the-Wheel

New rules for vehicles following pedestrians and cyclists in B.C.

New following rules

As I wrote in last week's column about passing pedestrians and cyclists, amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act effective June 3 will change the way drivers must behave around vulnerable road users.

Following distances for pedestrians and cyclists are changing as well.

Remember, according to the announcement from the provincial government, vulnerable road users protected by this law include:

• Pedestrians

• Cyclists

• Motorcyclists

• An animal or animal-drawn vehicle

• An electric kick scooter

• An electric wheelchair or a mobility scooter

What you have learned about following distances, in general, still applies. Depending on the road conditions, you must follow at a prudent distance in order to be safe. The “two second” rule is still good guidance under perfect conditions. In the case of vulnerable road users, a minimum following distance of three metres will apply in all circumstances, unless a different distance is prescribed.

Prescribed distances, if any, had not been published at the time this article was written.

There are two exemptions in the new rules regarding the minimum following distance and crossing highway lines.

If passing can be done safely, the minimum following distance is reduced to one metre while the pass is being made, unless there is a prescribed minimum distance. Again, the prescribed minimum is unknown at this time.

When passing vulnerable road users, the solid line prohibitions do not apply when passing in a safe manner.

The new law:

157.1 (1) A driver of a motor vehicle must not cause or permit the motor vehicle to pass a person referred to in subsection (2) unless

(a) the action can be taken safely, and

(b) the following distance can be maintained between the vehicle and the person while the vehicle is passing the person:

(i) subject to subparagraph (ii), a minimum distance of 1 m;

(ii) if a prescribed minimum distance applies, the prescribed minimum distance.

(2) Subsection (1) applies in relation to the following persons:

(a) a pedestrian;

(b) a person who is operating or is on a cycle;

(c) a prescribed person.

(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.

162.1 (1) A driver of a motor vehicle must not cause or permit the motor vehicle to follow a person referred to in subsection (3) more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for

(a) the amount and nature of traffic on the highway, and

(b) the condition of the highway.

(2) A driver of a motor vehicle must not cause or permit the motor vehicle to follow a person referred to in subsection (3) at a distance that,

(a) subject to paragraph (b), is closer than 3 m, or

(b) if a prescribed distance applies, is closer than the prescribed distance.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) apply in relation to the following persons:

(a) a pedestrian;

(b) a person who is operating or is on a cycle;

(c) a prescribed person.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply when the driver of the motor vehicle is causing the vehicle to overtake and pass a person in compliance with section 157.1.

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

239538
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



234803
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories



234487
238875


236696