Review rules of the road or risk paying fines, losing points

Have you ever searched for what seemed like hours for a parking spot and finally found one, only to discover the meter is broken? Do you park there anyway?

How about when you approach a traffic circle and another car is coming around it from your left. Who has the right of way?
These are some common driving questions — answers to which elude even experienced drivers — which shows not everyone knows and follows the rules of the road.

With more people hitting the highways in the warm months, now is a good time to refresh memories on a few driving rules to help keep our roads safe and prevent people avoid unnecessary fines.

Let’s start with the broken parking meter dilemma. Not your fault, right? So it means parking there is free? Not so fast.

According to Vancouver’s bylaws, it’s illegal to park at a non-functioning meter. To avoid a ticket, drivers can use the pay-by-phone system so they don’t have to move their car. The city also encourages people to call 3-1-1 or the number on the meter to let them know it’s broken.

How about those traffic circles, or roundabouts that are becoming increasingly popular in B.C.? The Ministry of Transportation says the rules are simple: Slow down when you approach a roundabout, watch for the signs and pedestrians, and yield to traffic already in the roundabout coming from your immediate left. You should also never come to a full stop in a roundabout unless traffic conditions require it.

Sounds straightforward, but roundabouts still confuse a number of drivers and can cause accidents. For more information on roundabouts please visit

Another common driving error that can also be dangerous, relates to what happens around emergency vehicles. The B.C. Motor Vehicle Act has a slogan to “Slow Down Move Over” when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, from either direction. Drivers that don’t comply can be fined and receive penalty points. For more information please visit

Drivers should also be aware of the fines they can receive for not having a driver’s licence ($276), failing to stop for police ($138), failing to yield to a pedestrian ($167), driving too slow ($121) and other violations, all of which are summarized on ICBC’s website:

Driving is a privilege and with so many great cars to drive and places to go, it’s fun and allows us to do so many things that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Still, it’s important to follow the rules at all times. We all need to do our part to make our roads and highways safe. And remember, don’t text and drive. If it’s really that important, pull over to a safe location and then carry on with your BFF!

To get more information on the rules of the road in B.C. please visit

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. Email him at [email protected]

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