Stop before you hit the sidewalk

When emerging from an alley, driveway, building or private road, you must stop your vehicle before driving onto the sidewalk area

How often have you seen a driver exit an alley, parking lot or parkade and either zoom right across the sidewalk or make a first stop directly over top of it?

This can make life difficult for pedestrians who may happen to be in the way. It shows that the driver is not thinking ahead as the sidewalk is there to be seen and the potential conflict with pedestrians recognized.

When you are driving in a business or residence district and emerging from an alley, driveway, building or private road, you must stop your vehicle before driving onto the sidewalk or sidewalk area.

Once stopped, you must yield to pedestrians present and allow them to pass safely in front of you before continuing. Having yielded, you may proceed when traffic on the highway permits.

A business or residence district is defined in the Motor Vehicle Act. A residence district is a portion of the highway 100 metres long with 50 metres of residence frontage on one or both sides of it. A business district is similarly defined, but the specified lengths are 200 and 100 metres respectively.

If you are not driving in a business or residence district, you must exercise caution and yield to any traffic when you are about to enter or cross the highway from an alley, driveway, building or private road.

In this case, pedestrians, cyclists, ridden and herded animals or other conveyances are considered to be traffic.

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 Friday.

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