Q&A - Was I in the Wrong?

Double Solid Yellow LineI was sitting in a line of vehicles at the red light in the northbound lane of Woodsdale Road, at the intersection of Woodsdale Road & Highway 97 in Lake Country, British Columbia this afternoon. A northbound driver in a truck on Highway 97 turned south onto Woodsdale Road and immediately tried to cross the intersection diagonally to a driveway leading to his business at a small Marina on Wood Lake.

I was blocking his way because I was sitting in the line of vehicles, and he was very annoyed by this. He drove up to the side of my car and stopped quickly, and he waved his hand telling me to get out of his way so all I could do was back my car up to make way. The car behind me also had to back up to give me room, and the car in front of me had to drive forward as well.

The north and southbound Lanes of Woodsdale Road have double-solid yellow lines separating them, and there's a solid white line separating the left turn lane from the northbound lane where I was sitting on Woodsdale. The solid white line extends from the stop line at the intersection to a point just south of the marina driveway's intersection with Woodsdale Road.

There's a sign next to the access road that says "private road" on it as well.

Was I in the wrong here? I've been playing this over and over in my head all afternoon, and I wonder if he should have a right of way through to his driveway or not... he does have an unfortunate proximity of his driveway to the intersection to deal with, but should that give him authority to direct traffic out of his way?

I also wonder what could've happened if he struck a cyclist or pedestrian after I cleared the way for him to pass, as the space to the right of vehicle is a busy connector between the Okanagan Rail trail system and very popular Pelmewash Parkway trail system.

Could I be held liable for assisting him to do this? It's a terrible thought but it begs the question.

This is always a busy intersection, and it was a particularly busy long-weekend afternoon when this happened, so I'm not sure what else would've worked here. The driver had such an expectation of me to get out of his way that he must do this all the time.

Comments

Answer

This situation has a little more to consider than usual.

I'll start with the double solid yellow line:

Highway lines

155 (1) Despite anything in this Part, if a highway is marked with

(a) a solid double line, the driver of a vehicle must drive it to the right of the line only,

Here's where the private road complicates the matter:

Suspension of sections 151 and 155

156 If the driver of a vehicle is causing the vehicle to enter or leave a highway and the driver has ascertained that he or she might do so with safety and does so without unreasonably affecting the travel of another vehicle, the provisions of sections 151 and 155 are suspended with respect to the driver while the vehicle is entering or leaving the highway.

He's leaving a highway, so the requirement to stay to the right of the double solid line might be suspended, depending on the circumstances. I would call bulldozing his way through stopped traffic at a very busy major intersection unreasonable.

Should this driver have right of access to his driveway? We know not to block intersections, but the private road gets involved again.

"intersection" means the area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curb lines, or if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of the 2 highways that join one another at or approximately at right angles, or the area within which vehicles travelling on different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict;

"highway" includes

(a) every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act,

(b) every road, street, lane or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles, and

(c) every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited,

but does not include an industrial road;

If it's a private road, it's not a highway and where it does meet the highway, it's not an intersection.

You may choose not to stop in front of it, particularly when you know before you stop that someone is going to use it, but you are not required to keep it clear in all cases.

Liability for collisions is something that I have no expertise with. I do post case law articles here on the site to try and show how our courts decide this but I cannot find anything that would help in these circumstances.

This looks like a good spot for a barricade that prevents access to the private road unless one turns right to access it.

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