BEHIND THE WHEEL: Cutting across for angle parking

An Osoyoos resident has asked about parking in the downtown area.

Like it is in the Courtenay downtown area, there is angle parking on both sides of the main street, and the street is marked with a double solid yellow line down the center.  He is concerned about vehicles crossing the oncoming lane to park on the left side of the street.

When a highway is marked with a line of any type between lanes, single or double, yellow or white, broken or solid, traffic must keep to the right of it.  So how does a driver properly go to the left side of a line?

In the case of a double solid line there is only one exception, and that is when entering or leaving the highway.

In the case of a single solid or single broken line, a driver may cross over to enter or leave the highway, to pass another vehicle, or to avoid an obstacle on the highway.

Finally, there is the case of a combination of solid and broken lines.  These may be crossed to enter and leave the highway and to avoid an obstacle on the highway.  They may also be crossed to start passing when the broken line is on the right side, and to complete a pass when the broken line is on the left side.

When entering or leaving the highway across lines, a driver must do so safely and not unreasonably affect the travel of another vehicle.  When crossing lines to pass or to avoid obstacles a driver must do so in safety and must not affect the travel of another vehicle in any way.

Since taking a parking space on the left side of the highway marked with lines is not leaving or entering, avoiding an obstacle, or passing another vehicle, the move is illegal and could result in the driver being ticketed.



Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays. For more information about this topic, visit Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to