Specifics On Rules About Changing Lanes In British Columbia

Residents of British Columbia find it hard to defend some of the on-road behaviors. That problem reflects the extent to which British Columbia’s rules on lane changes remain quite unclear, and somewhat controversial.

The laws about certain lines on the road are quite clear:

• Only 2 colors get used in those lines: white and yellow.
• A solid while line conveys this message: Do not cross this, in order to pass another vehicle.
• A broken white line means this: Use caution, if crossing this broken line, in order to pass the vehicle in front of you.
• A solid yellow line means this: Use an added amount of caution, if crossing this line, with the intention of passing the vehicle in front of you.

A broken yellow line conveys this message: A driver should be safe, if crossing that particular line, in hopes of passing another vehicle. Still, the same driver is expected to exercise a great deal of caution. The rule for 2 yellow lines is clear, if one is broken and one is solid. Drivers can cross into the adjoining lane when the line on their side is broken.

Other lane-changing laws are contradictory.

According to the driver’s manual, motorists are not allowed to cross a double yellow line, unless they are leaving or entering a road, and it is clear that their action will not affect the travel of another vehicle. Unfortunately, there is a contradictory directive in a different section of that same manual. In subsection 155(2) it says that drivers are allowed to cross a double yellow line if that action can be completed safely, and without affecting another vehicle’s travel.

Why the confusing rules about changing lanes are of concern to personal injury lawyers?

Personal injury lawyers need to know the regulations for drivers, so that they can determine whether or not a client’s defendant violated a regulation, prior to causing an accident, one that injured the same client. Obviously, it becomes difficult to make that determination, if the laws remain unclear.

A personal injury lawyer in Kelowna does have the ability to question the wisdom of a driver’s/defendant’s action, if it was supposed to have been done safely, and without affecting the travel of any other vehicle. The mere fact that the accident took place indicates that the driver/defendant was affecting the travel of another vehicle. Still, a personal injury attorney can remind a defense team that their client, the defendant cannot rely completely on the fact that one section of the manual permits the crossing of a double yellow line. A second section dis-allows that action, unless the driver is leaving or entering a road. Even, then a restriction exists: No affecting another vehicle’s travel.