The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.
Vehicles have changed, but how we share the road with everybody else really hasn’t. Your questions in 2019 show that. A lot of them were still old-fashioned questions about road rules and right of way. Here are a few that we got more than once.
It would be nice if cars slowed down and waited for you to back up, but legally, they don’t have to.
If you get hit backing out of your driveway or a parking space at Costco, you’d normally be considered at fault for the crash and your rates could go up.
Since it’s a jungle out there in the Costco parking lot, consider backing into the stall to park so you can just drive straight ahead when leaving.
It’s supposed to be first come, first served. You have the right of way if you’re the first to come to a complete stop. But if another car goes first anyway, then they get the right of way – you’ve got to let them go.
What if it’s tough to tell who got there first? Then you should yield to the car on your right.
When you see a funeral procession, it’s respectful to pull over. But if you don’t, you’re not breaking any law.
“The other drivers, in most cases, aren’t required to make special concessions other than courtesy and respect,” says Jayson Gordon, with the Funeral Services Association of Canada (FSAC). “Prince Edward Island is the one that doesn’t allow passing.”
In every province, if you hear sirens or see flashing lights, you’re supposed to move to the right. Most provinces also say you have to stop. Two exceptions: Quebec says to stop if necessary and Saskatchewan's law doesn't mention stopping. You also shouldn’t pull over onto the shoulder, since emergency vehicles may need to use it.
In PEI, the law says you're also supposed to turn off your headlights if it's dark and an emergency vehicle is coming.
The rules vary by province, but none of them allow you to use the shoulder to cut through traffic jams.
Generally, the only time you should be on the shoulder is if you’ve got serious car trouble or are facing a medical emergency.
In Ontario, you’re allowed to use the shoulder to pass a stopped left-turning vehicle.
The only time you can legally turn right from a middle lane is if there’s a sign telling you it’s okay. Otherwise, you should only be making right turns from the rightmost lane.
If there’s a speed-limit sign in a construction zone, you have to follow it, whether crews are there or not. That’s because, with rough roads and heavy machinery nearby, it could still be a danger zone for drivers.
This year, Alberta started requiring construction crews to cover up the construction-zone speed-limit signs when they leave for the day, as long as the roads are safe for driving at normal speeds.
Generally, it’s up to cyclists to decide whether they want to stick to bike lanes or roll with bigger vehicles. The exception: when there are signs banning cyclists from particular roads.
When there is a protected bike lane, it’s probably safer to use it. In 2017, 36 were cyclists killed across Canada in collisions with cars.
Have a driving question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.