One Way or Another
A sign that always confuses tourists is this one, at the corner of Fort and Wharf streets downtown. Drivers with out-of-province plates always hesitate at the red light, read the sign, and ask, “Really?” – as locals lay on the horns behind them. But it’s true: you can turn left at a red in British Columbia, as long as it’s onto a one-way street.
Section 129 (4) (b) of the province's Motor Vehicle Act reads as follows:
except when a left turn permitted by this paragraph is prohibited by a sign at the intersection, the driver of a vehicle facing the red light at the intersection of not more than 2 highways ... may cause the vehicle to make a left turn into a highway on which traffic is restricted to the direction in which he or she causes the vehicle to turn, but the driver must yield the right of way to all pedestrians and vehicles lawfully proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection.Judging by the traffic on Victoria’s many one-way downtown streets, this unusual rule of the road is unknown to most Victorians – and even a few traffic cops, as one retired officer’s blog attests here.