Canada: Right turn on red?

Is it legal in Canada, specifically in British Columbia, to make a right turn on a red light?


From the horse’s mouth

Is it not legal in the US ?

Yes it is, but Canada is another country. :smiley:

Since the question has been answered, I feel compelled to insert an anecdote. The importance of coming to a complete stop was rammed home to me when I failed my driver’s test for forgetting to do so. I pulled around the corner as the light turned yellow, and in the time it took me to look left for oncoming traffic, it turned red and I didn’t notice. I hadn’t stopped completely, so automatic fail for “running a red light.” So sad :(.

Depends on where you are.

I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, which my mom used to say is “the only town where it’s legal to turn left on red without a sign.”

(In a lot of downtown-to-west side Hamilton, almost all the streets are one-way, and where a one-way street meets a one-way street, the same rules apply to turning left on red that usually apply to turning right on red - assuming that turning left won’t have you going the wrong way down the street of course.)

This is subject to provincial regulation and there is some variation worth noting if you’re travelling in Canada. For example according to this site :

“Right turn on red
Making a right turn on a red light is permitted throughout Québec, EXCEPT in Montréal. Drivers are nonetheless required to make a complete halt before turning right on a red light, as well as to give the right of the way to any vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians already using the intersection. However, for safety reasons, right turns on a red light continue to be prohibited at all times at certain clearly marked intersections. Failure to comply could result in a fine ranging from $100 to $200. For information on the new signage, visit the Website of the Ministère des Transports du Québec.”

Montreal is pretty much it for not being able to turn right on a red in Canada.

The irony being that Montrealers ignore red lights anyway.

I’d like to point out it’s legal to turn right on red everywhere in the US except New York City, unless the intersection is explicitly marked “no turn on red”. I live in a major tourist area and I hate getting stuck behind cars, almost invariably with out of state plates, that won’t turn on a red light.

The importance of coming to a complete stop on your driving test was rammed home. :wink:

Having been the tourist in such situations, I tell you that right-on-red is far and away the most difficult thing to adjust to. Driving on the wrong side of the road I didn’t find a problem, just had to keep reminding myself each time I set off. Lack of lane discipline on highways, I can cope with that. Astonishing adherence to speed limits (this wasn’t NYC or Montreal :stuck_out_tongue: ) was fascinating. But pulling up to a red light, stopping, then driving through it just feels so so very wrong, completely counter-intuitive.

This is why I hate driving through Driver’s Purgatory, or ‘Oregon’ as some people call it.

Traffic laws vary by province. Usually you can turn right on red.

Turning right on red is new to Quebec, and still is prohibited on Montreal Island, so don’t expect people to be used to this:

Turning left onto a one-way street is permitted in some provinces, but not permitted in other provinces:

Traffic circles vary. Usually the vehicle entering must yield, but sometimes (such as the one in Manitouwadge, Ontario), the vehicle already in the circle must yield.

Watch out for uncontrolled intersections where there are no lights or signs in any direction (such as some residential neighbourhoods in Vancouver). For these, the last in yields, or if both vehicles arrived at the same time, the one on the left yields. The problem, of course, is that without any signs of lights, such intersections can be somewhat like the intersetion at a figure 8 crash-em derby because some folks mistakenly equate no stop sign with having the right of way.

Make that turning left onto a one-way street from a one way street.

“And maybe I can’t turn right on a red light, but, tabarnac, I can go right through it!”

It’s illegal in downtown New Orleans too (except where it’s posted that you CAN do it). My observation is that anywhere there is a “Walk/Don’t Walk” light, you can’t make the right on red because the peds have the right of way.

Some intersections in New Orleans have “Right on Arrow Only”. This is the absolute worst because you can’t turn right on red, or green. The light will turn green and you have to wait another 30 seconds for the “Don’t Walk” light and then the right turn arrow will come on. They have a lot of these where there is almost no pedestrian traffic and it’s really annoying. But they did this around 40 years ago and never made adjustments since then. Things have changed a lot in 40 years.

Don’t know about the US, but I think I’m right in thinking that (at least parts of Canada) allow right-on-red, but with the requirement to give way to any pedestrians on a signalled crossing.

Yeah. I think around here pedestrians have the right of way even if there isn’t a signal crosswalk, or any kind of crosswalk, versus cars making a turn. Sometimes, though, there just aren’t any pedestrians crossing.