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Driving tips

Red-light district: Your questions about left turns on a red, red lights on bikes and more

Published October 10, 2013
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Is a left turn on red from a one-way street to another one-way street permitted from a dual left-turn lane?  This would seem to make the traffic light moot.

MTO spokesperson Bob Nichols replies:

Basically, when following the rules under Highway Traffic Act subsection 144(19) you are permitted to turn right on red or left on red when going from a designated one-way road to another one-way road that continues to your right or left.  Similar to the rules of the road for a right turn on red, if there are two designated left turn lanes going from the one-way street you are on to another one-way street, you can turn left on red from either lane as long as you turn into the corresponding lane as set out in HTA subsection 141(7).

Drivers must obey any posted sign prohibiting turns.

Are red flashing taillights on bicycles legal?  Many cyclists, including police, use these devices.

MTO spokesperson Bob Nichols replies:

A bicycle is a vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act.  Under S. 62(14) HTA, other than authorized emergency vehicles, “no person shall use a lamp, other than a vehicular hazard warning signal lamps commonly known as four way flashers, that produces intermittent flashes of red light”

In darkness, bicycles must display a rear red light or reflector, as per S. 62 (14.1) HTA.

SCHOOLBUS REMINDER:  As we head into fall and daylight hours get shorter, remember to watch for children and school buses.  When meeting on a highway, a stopped school bus with overhead red lights flashing, drivers are required under S. 175(11,12) HTA to stop before reaching the bus and may not proceed until the red lights are turned off.  When approaching from the rear, drivers must stop at least 20 metres before reaching the bus.  If separated from the bus by a median on a divided highway, drivers are not required to stop.

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