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TYPES OF TRAFFIC TICKETS

BC Driving Lawyers has presented some of the most common types of traffic tickets and driving offences with which you may be charged. Many people are unaware of these common driving offences below. They are contained in the Motor Vehicle Act, which is the governing law for most driving-related offences. Even though being found in violation of these rules is not the same as a criminal conviction, they can have expensive and long-lasting consequences. These consequences include losing your license and receiving a driving prohibition, participation in remedial driving programs, driver penalty points and driver risk premiums. Some violations may even result in a jail sentence.

If you receive a driving offence violation you should immediately contact an experienced British Columbia driving lawyer. CONTACT 604-608-1200.

Driving Without a Driver’s License

Motor Vehicle Act s.24(1)

The Motor Vehicle Act requires any person who is driving or operating a vehicle to have been issued a valid driver’s license. The license must also be the appropriate class for the category of vehicle. For example, a person who has a valid Class 5 BC Driver’s License can be convicted under this section if they are found driving a vehicle which requires a different class of BC Driver’s License.

Penalty: $138 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Driving Without Insurance

Motor Vehicle Act s.24(3)(b)

You cannot drive a vehicle or pull a trailer (this includes boat trailers and horse trailers) unless you have insurance. If you are using a trailer, you need to ensure that both the trailer and the vehicle are insured. Proof of insurance is made by producing a certificate stating that the vehicle is insured for the applicable driver.

Penalty: Fines ranging from $300-$2000, and/or 7 days to 6 months in jail.


Failure to Produce Driver’s License or Insurance

Motor Vehicle Act s.33(1)

Many people do not know that it is an offence to drive without having their driver’s license in their possession. You cannot drive unless it is physically with you at all times. You must also have proof of insurance with you anytime you are driving or operating a vehicle. However, people lose their wallets and purses, or they are stolen, and it may take some time to discover this fact.

Penalty: $81 fine


Failure to Yield to Pedestrian

Motor Vehicle Act s.127(1)(a)(ii)

If you have a green light, you are still required to wait for pedestrians who are already in the intersection, or who are waiting to cross at the crosswalks to the left and right of your vehicle. You may not make a right or left turn, or proceed forward until the intersection is clear of pedestrians.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points

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Failure to Yield to Vehicle on a Green Light

Motor Vehicle Act s.127(1)(a)(iii)

If you have a green light, you are still required to wait for all vehicles that were lawfully in the intersection before you to clear the intersection. You may only proceed when the intersection is clear of vehicles. However, sometimes other vehicles act unpredictably and speed through intersections when they should be stopping.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Stop at a Yellow Light

Motor Vehicle Act s.128(1)(a)

Most people do not know that unless it is unsafe to do so, you must stop at yellow lights. If you see a yellow light, you must stop your vehicle before the crosswalk and wait until the light changes back to green before proceeding. The only exception to this rule is if stopping at the yellow light would be unsafe. You are the best judge of what would be unsafe at the time you are driving because you know your vehicle and your driving ability better than any police officer.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Stop at a Yellow Light Not at an Intersection

Motor Vehicle Act s.128(2)(a)

Sometimes there are yellow lights in places other than intersections. They are most commonly seen at crosswalks. If you do not stop at these yellow lights, before entering the nearest crosswalk, you could be facing a penalty. The only excuse for not stopping is if it is not safe to do so. You are the best judge of what would be unsafe at the time you are driving because you know your vehicle and your driving ability better than any police officer.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Stop at a Red Light

Motor Vehicle Act s.129(1) and s.129(3)

You must always come to a complete stop at a red light. You must wait at the red light before proceeding straight or making a left turn. While in most cases it is permitted to make a right turn on a red light, you must still come to a complete stop and wait until the intersection is clear of all vehicles and pedestrians who are proceeding in it. However, sometimes it can appear to others as though you did not stop, when in fact you did.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Yield on a Left Turn at a Red Light

Motor Vehicle Act s.129(4)(b)

It is permissible to make a left turn at a red light onto a one-way street. However, you must ensure that all vehicles and pedestrians are clear of the intersection before you proceed.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points

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Failure to Stop at a Red Light Not at an Intersection

Motor Vehicle Act s.129(5)(a)

Sometimes there are red lights in places other than intersections. They are most commonly seen at crosswalks. You must stop at these red lights before entering the nearest crosswalk or before reaching the red light. However, sometimes it can appear to others as though you did not stop, when in fact you did.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Obey Green Arrow

Motor Vehicle Act s.130(1)(a)

When you see a green arrow, this means that you can only proceed in the direction of the arrow. You may not make any other movement, or you could face a penalty. As with all other traffic lights, you must yield to pedestrians and other vehicles that are already in the intersection.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Stop at Yellow Arrow

Motor Vehicle Act s.130(2)(a) and s.130(2)(b)

If there is a yellow arrow displayed on a traffic light, you must come to a complete stop before entering the intersection or crosswalk. The only exception to this rule is if you cannot come to a stop safely. Even if you cannot stop safely, you are still required to yield to pedestrians and other vehicles already in the intersection. You are the best judge of what would be unsafe at the time you are driving because you know your vehicle and your driving ability better than any police officer.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Stop at Flashing Red Light

Motor Vehicle Act s.131(1)

If you approach a flashing red light, you are required to stop before the intersection or nearest crosswalk. You may not proceed until it is safe to do so and the intersection is clear of vehicles and pedestrians. However, sometimes it can appear to others as though you did not stop, when in fact you did.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Stop at Flashing Red Light Not at an Intersection

Motor Vehicle Act s.131(2)(a)

Sometimes there are flashing red lights in places other than intersections. They are most commonly seen at crosswalks. You must stop at these flashing red lights before entering the nearest crosswalk or before reaching the flashing red light. You may not proceed until it is safe to do so and the roadway is clear of vehicles and pedestrians. However, sometimes it can appear to others as though you did not stop, when in fact you did.

Penalty: $138 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Stop at Flashing Yellow Light

Motor Vehicle Act s.131(3)(a)

If you approach a flashing yellow light, you may enter the intersection, but you must proceed with caution. You must yield to pedestrians. However, sometimes pedestrians do not make any indication they intend to cross until it is too late.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points

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Failure to Stop at Flashing Yellow Light Not at an Intersection

Motor Vehicle Act s.131(4)(a)

Sometimes there are flashing yellow lights in places other than intersections. They are most commonly seen at crosswalks. You may pass these yellow flashing lights, but must use caution. You must yield to pedestrians. However, sometimes pedestrians do not make any indication they intend to cross until it is too late.

Penalty: $138 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Yield at Green Flashing Light

Motor Vehicle Act s.131(5)(a)

A flashing green light indicates that there is a pedestrian crossing in the roadway. You must approach these in such a manner that will allow you to stop if a pedestrian enters the crosswalk. You must yield to all pedestrians who wish to cross at these lights. However, sometimes pedestrians do not make any indication they intend to cross until it is too late.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Obey Lane Direction Control Signals

Motor Vehicle Act s.134

If there is a green arrow, a red “X”, or a flashing yellow arrow, you must follow its direction. You cannot drive in lanes with a red “X”. If a yellow arrow indicates you must change lanes, you must do so. You are only permitted to drive in lanes with a green arrow. However, in heavy traffic these signals can appear quickly. Other drivers may not permit you to change into an appropriate lane in a timely fashion.

Penalty: $121 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Obey Construction Signs

Motor Vehicle Act s.140

In cases where there is construction or road work being performed, there are often additional signs placed around the site. You must obey these signs. However, as these are temporary signs, they can sometimes fall over or become obstructed by construction vehicles.

Penalty: Fines ranging from $196-$253 and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Obey Flagpersons

Motor Vehicle Act s.141

When a flagger is controlling the movements of traffic, you must follow their direction.

Penalty: $196 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points

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Driving over Newly Painted Lines

Motor Vehicle Act s.143

If there is a device indicating that a line has been newly painted on a road, you must not drive over the freshly painted line. However, sometimes it is necessary to suddenly switch lanes for safety, or to move to the side of the road to allow an ambulance or fire truck to pass.

Penalty: $109 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Driving without Due Care and Attention

Motor Vehicle Act s.144(1)(a)

You must not drive their vehicle without paying enough attention or taking enough care to ensure that you are driving safely. This is highly subjective. There are often many things happening on the road at once, and it can be impossible to respond to all of them.

Penalty: $368 fine and 6 Driver Penalty Points


Driving Without Consideration

Motor Vehicle Act s.144(1)(b)

You must drive in such a manner that demonstrates consideration for other vehicles on the road.

Penalty: $196 fine and 6 Driver Penalty Points


Driving at Excessive Speed Relative to Conditions

Motor Vehicle Act s.144(1)(c)

You are required to drive in such a manner that is appropriate given the conditions. This can include the speed of other traffic on the road, the visibility conditions, the weather, and any other factors. You should adjust your speed to take these factors into consideration. You are the only person who can properly judge what is safe for your vehicle and with your driving ability.

Penalty: $167 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Slow Driving

Motor Vehicle Act s.145(1)

Many people are unaware that you can be ticketed for driving too slowly. You must drive at a speed that is consistent with the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. The only lawful excuse for failing to drive at a normal or reasonable speed is if it is unsafe to do so or if you are complying with the law. Other traffic does not always move reasonably in the circumstances. You are the best judge of what is safe for you and your vehicle.

Penalty: $121 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points

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Speeding

Motor Vehicle Act s.146(1), s.146(3), and s.146(5)

In British Columbia, unless otherwise permitted, the maximum speed limit on regular roadways is 50km/hr. Regular roadways are contained within municipal borders. Highways outside municipal boundaries have a maximum speed of 80km/hr, unless otherwise posted. You are required to abide by these limits as well as any that may be posted at the roadside. However, sometimes speedometers do not function properly and can lead you to think you are obeying the limit when in fact you are not. Moreover, police radar and estimation is not always reliable as there can be problems with the device or an officer’s training in its use.

Penalty: Fines ranging from $138-$196 and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Speeding on a Municipal Lane

Motor Vehicle Act s.146(11)

Some municipalities have enacted bylaws that restrict the rate of speed in their lanes. Municipalities have the power to control the rate of speed in lanes smaller than 8m wide. They may set the limit at 20km/hr or slower. If a bylaw has been enacted, then you must follow it. However, sometimes speedometers do not function properly and can lead you to think you are obeying the limit when in fact you are not. Moreover, police radar and estimation is not always reliable as there can be problems with the device or an officer’s training in its use.

Penalty: $138 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Speeding in a School or Playground Zone

Motor Vehicle Act s.147

Where a sign indicates a school zone or playground zone, along with the limit of 30km/hr, you must obey this limit. The school zone is in effect on all regular school days from 8am-5pm. The playground zone is in effect every day from dawn to dusk. However, sometimes speedometers do not function properly and can lead you to think you are obeying the limit when in fact you are not. Moreover, police radar and estimation is not always reliable as there can be problems with the device or an officer’s training in its use.

Penalty: Fines ranging from $196-$253 and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Excessive Speed

Motor Vehicle Act s.148(1)

If you drive faster than 40km/hr over the speed limit, you will be considered to be driving at an excessive speed. The fines for excessive speed are higher than those for speeding. However, sometimes speedometers do not function properly and can lead you to think you are obeying the limit when in fact you are not. Moreover, police radar and estimation is not always reliable as there can be problems with the device or an officer’s training in its use.

Penalty: Fines ranging from $368-$463 and 3 Driver Penalty Points

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Failure to Stop for School Bus

Motor Vehicle Act s.149

When a school bus is stopped and loading or unloading passengers, traffic both behind the bus and approaching it must stop and wait until the bus starts driving or the bus driver signals for traffic to proceed. You must stop and wait until it is appropriate to continue driving.

Penalty: $167 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Keep to the Right

Motor Vehicle Act s.150

You must always drive on the right hand side of the road. In particular, you must keep to the right when going around a traffic circle, or when driving at less than the normal speed of traffic. You may only drive on the left when instructed to do so, when passing a slower moving vehicle, or on a one-way street. However, sometimes there are obstructions in the road that make it unsafe or impossible to drive on the right.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Improper Lane Changes

Motor Vehicle Act s.151(a),(b), and (c)

When the road is divided into several lanes, there are many restrictions that apply. You may only change lanes when it is safe to do so. You may not change lanes if the lane dividers are solid lines. You must signal all lane changes. However, sometimes signal devices on vehicles malfunction or the lights burn out and though you did signal, it does not register to other vehicles.

Penalty: $109 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Improper Turns from Laned Roadways

Motor Vehicle Act s.151(d) and (e)

Unless signs or markings on the road indicate otherwise, you may only turn left from the leftmost lane and right from the rightmost lane. However, sometimes there are obstructions in the road that make it unsafe or impossible to make turns in this manner.

Penalty: $109 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Illegal Pass on Laned Road

Motor Vehicle Act s.151(f)

If there are lane markers on a road, you cannot cross over the yellow line to pass a slower moving vehicle.

Penalty: $109 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points

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Failure to Use Proper Lane

Motor Vehicle Act s.151(g)

If a sign or road marking indicates slow moving traffic must drive in a specific lane, you must drive in that lane only if you wish to drive slowly.

Penalty: $109 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Passing When Meeting Vehicle

Motor Vehicle Act s.154

If you are driving on a road that only has room for one vehicle at a time, you must keep to the right when passing another vehicle. Each vehicle should move to the side so that at least half of the roadway is available to the other driver.

Penalty $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Crossing a Double Solid Line

Motor Vehicle Act s.155(1)(a)

If a road is marked with two solid lines dividing it, you must stay on the right hand side of those lines. However, sometimes there are stalled vehicles or obstructions that make this impossible or unsafe.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Keep Right of Broken/Solid Line

Motor Vehicle Act s.155(1)(b)

If there are two lines running down the centre of the road, one of which is broken and one of which is solid, you must keep to the right of the lines unless the broken lines are on your side of the road. However, sometimes there are stalled vehicles or obstructions that make this impossible or unsafe.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Keep Right of Single Line

Motor Vehicle Act s.155(1)(c)

If the roadway is divided by one single line, regardless of whether it is broken or solid, you must keep to the right of the line, except when passing another vehicle. However, sometimes there are obstructions that make this impossible or unsafe.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Pass Safely

Motor Vehicle Act s.157(1)

If you are passing another vehicle, you must only do so to the left. You must keep a safe distance, and must not return to the right side of the road until you are safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Allow a Vehicle to Safely Pass

Motor Vehicle Act s. 157(2)

If you are being passed by another vehicle and you hear an audible signal, you must move to the right to allow the vehicle to pass. You must not speed up until the other vehicle has completely passed you.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Passing on the Right

Motor Vehicle Act s.158

You must not pass on the right of another vehicle unless that driver is making or signaling a left turn, you are on a laned roadway in an unobstructed lane, or you are on a one-way street. If you do pass on the right for any of these reasons, you may only do so when it is safe and you must keep your car on the roadway at all times.

Penalty: $109 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points

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Unsafely Passing on the Left

Motor Vehicle Act s.159 and s.160

You may only pass on the left when it is safe to do so. You may not pass on the left if you do not have a clear view of the road for a safe enough distance. The circumstances of the roadway, pass, speed, and all other factors will determine what a safe distance is in the situation.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Disobeying a Traffic Sign or Signal

Motor Vehicle Act s.161

You must comply with all posted traffic signs. You are not permitted to drive in a manner that is contrary to what any sign indicates.

Penalty: $121 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Following Too Closely

Motor Vehicle Act s.162

You are not permitted to follow the vehicle in front of you more closely than is reasonable in the circumstances. If you are driving a commercial vehicle or a combination of vehicles, you must leave at least 60m between yourself and other commercial vehicles, unless you are passing. If you are driving in a caravan or motorcade, you must leave sufficient space between yourself and the next vehicle to allow another vehicle to move into that space safely.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Improper Turn at Intersection

Motor Vehicle Act s.165

You must only turn left or right from the left or right hand lanes. If you are on a single-lane roadway, you must make the turn from as far to the right or left side of the road as is safe to do so in the circumstances.

Penalty: $109 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Improper U-Turn

Motor Vehicle Act s.168(a), (b)(i), (ii), (iii), (v)

You must not make a U-turn unless it is safe to do so. You are also prohibited from making a U-turn on a curved road, at a hilltop, where you have visibility of less than 150m, or in a business district, except at an intersection without a traffic light. You may not make a U-turn when there is a sign preventing it.

Penalty: $121 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Improper U-Turn at an Intersection

Motor Vehicle Act s.168(b)(iv)

You are not allowed to make a U-Turn at an intersection where there is a traffic light.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Signal or Insufficient Signal

Motor Vehicle Act s.170

If you are making a turn, you must signal the turn beforehand, and provide the signal for long enough that traffic following you will be made aware of your need to turn. However, sometimes your signal device may malfunction or the lights may burn out. You may have attempted to signal but it has not registered to other vehicles.

Penalty: $121 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Yield at Uncontrolled Intersection

Motor Vehicle Act s.173(1)

When you approach an uncontrolled intersection and arrive at the same time as another vehicle, you must yield to the vehicle that is to your right side.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Yield on Left Turn

Motor Vehicle Act s.174

If you are making a left turn, you must wait until all traffic has cleared the intersection and cars approaching the intersection are a safe distance away.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Yield after Stop

Motor Vehicle Act s.175(1)

When you have stopped at a stop sign, you are required to wait until the coast is clear before proceeding in your vehicle. However, sometimes there are obstructions such as parked cars or trees that prevent you from fully determining whether it is safe to proceed.

Penalty: $167 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points

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Failure to Yield to Pedestrian

Motor Vehicle Act s.179(1)

For everyone’s safety, you are required to wait for pedestrians who are crossing at a crosswalk until they have safely cleared your side of the road. If a pedestrian is approaching your side of the road, you must also wait until they have completed their crossing before proceeding.

Penalty: $167 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Give Due Care to Pedestrians

Motor Vehicle Act s.181

Sometimes pedestrians act in unpredictable manners. Regardless of the fact that they may be jaywalking or on the roadway obstructing traffic, you are required to warn pedestrians of your presence with your horn, and take all precautions to avoid hitting them. In the case of children or confused people, you must take extra caution.

Penalty: $138 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Disobey Stop Sign

Motor Vehicle Act s.186

If there is a stop sign at an intersection, you are required to stop before entering the intersection or the crosswalk. If there is a marked stop line, you must stop behind the line. However, sometimes untrimmed foliage can obstruct a stop sign, or the sign may have fallen down as a result of weather or vandalism. It may also appear to police officers as though you have not stopped, when in fact you have.

Penalty: $167 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Failure to Secure Motor Vehicle

Motor Vehicle Act s.191(2)(a)

Many people do not know that if they are going to leave their vehicle unattended or parked, they are required by law to lock it. However, locks and doors can malfunction and cause a vehicle to remain unsecured.

Penalty: $81 fine


Improper Reversal

Motor Vehicle Act s.193

You may only reverse your vehicle when it is safe to do so. Similarly, you may not reverse your vehicle into an intersection or over a crosswalk.

Penalty: Fines ranging from $109-$121 and 2 Driver Penalty Points


Driving on Sidewalk

Motor Vehicle Act s.200

The only reasons a vehicle may drive on the sidewalk are when leaving or entering a driveway or land next to the roadway. Sometimes a bylaw will also allow drivers to drive on the sidewalk.

Penalty: $81 fine and 2 Driver Penalty Points

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Failure to Wear or Have Seatbelts

Motor Vehicle Act s.220

You are required to ensure that your vehicle has a minimum of two seatbelts in the front seats. You are also required to ensure that you and each of your passengers are wearing a seatbelt. However some people have medical conditions, employment requirements, or cannot fit the standard seatbelt mechanism.

Penalty: $167 fine


Failure to Display “L” or “N” Sign

Motor Vehicle Act s.30.13

All “Learner” and “Novice” drivers must display the appropriate signage on their vehicles at all times. However, many people make a game of removing these signs from other vehicles or the signs may fall from the vehicle while driving.

Penalty: $109 fine


Using Cellphone While Driving

Motor Vehicle Act s.214.2

A recent change in the law of BC has prohibited the use of cell phones for talk, email, or text while driving. A hands-free device is required for all electronic communication. Police may mistake simple actions like scratching your ear or pushing your hair out of your face for use of a cell phone.

Penalty: $167 fine and 3 Driver Penalty Points


Your traffic ticket can have long-term effects. See Consequences of Tickets…