How do you define highway?

Many would describe a highway as a stretch of lined pavement that is meant to drive vehicles on, especially outside of municipal areas

Most people would describe a highway as a stretch of lined pavement that is meant to drive vehicles on, especially outside of municipal areas.

This is a highway, but it is only a narrow part of the whole definition.

The Transportation Act describes a highway, and the Motor Vehicle Act includes that description and expands it.

The Transportation Act defines a highway as all public streets, roads, ways, trails, lanes, bridges, trestles, ferry landings and approaches, and any other public way.

“Any other public way” can include almost anything, even a footpath in some cases. Webster’s dictionary defines public as being “for the use and benefit of all.”

The Motor Vehicle Act defines a highway as every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act, and every road, street, lane, or right of way designed or intended for or used by the public for the passage of vehicles, and includes every private place or passageway to which the public has access or is invited to park or service vehicles.

It is clear that many places can be a highway.

Great care must be taken by those who operate motor vehicles that are not licensed and insured, because they cannot be legally operated on a highway. Even coasting vehicles that are not running may be considered operating them.

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

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