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Operations Division : Traffic Section : Collision Investigation Unit | Traffic Enforcement Unit | Traffic Services Unit | Traffic Support Team

Traffic FAQs

Please note that the information below may only relate to Vancouver by-laws. Check with your local jurisdiction for similar or different by-law issues.

Q. Is it legal to use an electronic device while stopped in traffic or at a traffic signal?

A. No. Under section 214.2, a person must not use an electronic device while driving or operating a motor vehicle, which includes talking, texting and emailing. Drivers stopped in traffic or at a traffic light are still considered to be operating a motor vehicle and included in the definition of "driving."

Q. Is it legal for a pedestrian to enter a crosswalk at an intersection when the pedestrian traffic signal is displaying a flashing raised hand? What if the hand signal is not flashing?

A. A pedestrian must not enter the roadway at an intersection when the pedestrian traffic signal is displaying the outline of a raised hand, or the words "Wait" or "Don't Walk," whether it is flashing or not.

Q. Who has the right of way in traffic circles?

A. You yield to traffic coming from your immediate left already in the roundabout before you enter.

Q. What is the speed limit in the city of Vancouver?

A. The speed limit in any municipality in B.C. is 50 km/h unless otherwise posted.

Q. Can you make a left hand turn at an intersection with a red light, from a two-way street onto a one-way street?

A. Yes, you are permitted to turn left from a two-way street onto a one-way street at an intersection when you are facing a RED traffic light; providing the intersection is clear of vehicles, cyclists and / or pedestrians and that you are intending on travelling in the direction of the one-way street and it is safe to do so. You have to come to a complete stop immediately before entering the intersection or entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of that intersection.

Q. Is it okay to change or alter my "L" or "N" sign?

A. No, if you have a restriction on your driver’s licence requiring you to display an official "L" or "N" sign, you are not permitted to alter that sign in any way. That means you may not cut it or trim it, and the entire sign must be in clear view, either in the back window or attached to the back of the vehicle you are operating.

Q. To what degree can my car windows be tinted?

A. Front window shields can not be tinted more than 75 mm below the top of window. Front side windows can not be tinted. Rear window shields may be tinted provided the vehicle has outside mirrors on both the driver's and passenger's side. Windows behind the driver may be tinted.

Q. What is the fine for driving without insurance?

A. The fine for driving without insurance is $598.

Q. What is the fine for driving with an obstructed license plate?

A. The fine for driving with an obstructed license plate is $196.

Q. What is considered a nuisance car alarm?

A. Car alarms may not sound longer than one (1) minute or more than 3 times in a 24 hour period. If it does, the vehicle can be towed and all costs will be incurred by the registered owner.

Q. Is it legal to leave my car running when I'm not in it?

A. It is illegal to leave your vehicle engine running or leave the keys in the ignition while you are not in the vehicle. This includes parking lots or any lot where the public has access.

Other FAQs

See the VPD's list of general frequently asked questions (FAQs).

VPD Traffic Officer

Ask a Traffic Officer

Submit a traffic-related question by emailing vpdtrafficofficer@vpd.ca.

Related Links

Motor Vehicle Act

Provincial Violation Tickets

City of Vancouver

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