BC Court of Appeal Discusses Prohibition For Motorists "Passing on the Right"


Section 158 of the Motor Vehicle Act prohibits drivers from passing vehicles on the right except in limited circumstances.  Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Court of Appeal discussing this prohibition in the context of a personal injury lawsuit.
In this week’s case (Smeltzer v. Merrison) the Defendant was travelling Northbound.  There was one Northbound lane of traffic which was backed up with other vehicles.  The traffic lane widened as it approached in intersection creating two “de-facto” lanes.
The Defendant passed the stopped vehicles on the right intending to make a right hand turn at the upcoming intersection.  At the same time the southbound Plaintiff made a left hand turn through a “gap” in the backed up Northbound traffic intending to enter a parkade.  At this time a collision occurred.
The Plaintiff sued for damages and had her case dismissed at the trial level.  She appealed.  The BC Court of Appeal agreed that while the Plaintiff should have kept a proper lookout and was partially to blame for the collision the Defendant also bore some responsibility.  The Court found the Defendant should not have been passing on the right in the “de-facto” lane as it was not a “laned roadway” and doing so in these circumstances was negligent.  In finding the Defendant partly at fault the BC Court of Appeal provided the following reasons:

[13] Dickson, an appeal of a cyclist’s conviction for passing on the right, contains the most complete discussion of s. 158 to which we are referred.  I would respectively endorse what was said there.  Section 158(1) prohibits one vehicle passing another on the right: “The driver of a vehicle must not cause or permit the vehicle to overtake and pass on the right of another vehicle…”  There are only three exceptions.  Essentially, passing on the right is permitted when the overtaken vehicle is turning left, when passing on a laned roadway, or when passing on a one-way street where room permits.  A “laned roadway” is defined.  It means a road that is divided into two or more marked lanes for vehicles proceeding in the same direction.  The exceptions are qualified by subsection (2) which prohibits any passing on the right when it cannot be done safely or by driving off the road.

[14] Despite the recognition of a de facto lane in MacLaren, I do not consider the concept can afford any further exception to the three for which s. 158(1) provides.  In MacLaren, a cyclist was injured at an intersection which he entered passing on the right of vehicles where there was what was said to be a de facto lane to his right, being a widened part of the road that accommodated vehicles turning right, but was not marked.  He was faulted for riding between two lanes instead of positioning himself between the vehicles he passed on the right.  It was specifically said (at para. 28) that no determination was being made with respect to whether s. 158 permitted the cyclist to pass on the right.

[15] I am unable to accept that s. 158(1)(b) permitted Ms. Merrison to pass two or three cars and the truck on the right as she contends.  The exception is confined to passing on the right where there are two marked lanes for vehicles proceeding in the same direction and only then when passing can be undertaken in safety.  Here, there was only one such lane regardless of whether there was what might be called a second de facto lane.  I recognize this means drivers proceeding to turn right at the intersection, as Ms. Merrison was, could not align their vehicles to enter the 100-foot marked lane until it was virtually reached, if there were vehicles ahead in the “through” lane that were not turning left, but that is what the Act provides and it appears to me to be with good reason.  If it were otherwise, drivers would be entitled to pass on the right wherever the road is sufficiently wide for two vehicles to pass.  Drivers do not expect to be passed on the right when they are not travelling on a road with more than one designated lane.  They generally expect to be able to turn off of the road to their right, whether into intersecting streets or driveways, or to pull over to the side of the road or off the road altogether without being obstructed by vehicles passing to their right.

[16] As quoted from his reasons, the judge said that, while he had not lost sight of the provisions of the Act, he was concerned with a de facto lane of travel, not a “laned roadway” within the meaning of the Act such that only some of the sections were of interest.  I am unable to accept he was correct in law to consider Ms. Merrison passing on the right was not prohibited by s. 158, as it appears he did, on that basis.  As the judge said, she was not travelling in a “laned roadway” within the meaning of the Act: s. 158(1)(b) did not apply.  If she entered a de facto lane, meaning the road became wide enough to permit her to pass the cars and the truck ahead of her on the right, she was, in the circumstances, prohibited from passing them.  She was required not to pass the vehicles in front of her until she entered the marked right-turn lane.

[17] I consider Ms. Merrison was negligent in passing the three cars and the truck on the right in contravention of s. 158.  She was negligent because it was reasonably foreseeable that passing on the right, in contravention of a statutory prohibition, could be dangerous to other motorists on the road.  Her negligence was, on what the judge said, compounded by her failure to proceed cautiously while maintaining a proper lookout.  Had Ms. Merrison not proceeded to pass on the right as she did, the collision would not have occurred.  It follows that her negligence was a cause of the accident and the injury Ms. Smeltzer suffered.

bc injury law, Gaps in Traffic, Section 158 Motor Vehicle Act, section 158(1) Motor Vehicle Act, Section 158(1)(b) Motor Vehicle Act, Section 166 Motor Vehicle Act, Smeltzer v. Merrison

Comments (117)

  • I simply want to mention I’m newbie to blogging and site-building and honestly liked you’re web site. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You amazingly have really good articles. Kudos for revealing your blog.

  • I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I’m hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  • Today, with all the fast life style that everyone leads, credit cards have a huge demand throughout the market. Persons throughout every area of life are using the credit card and people who are not using the credit cards have made up their minds to apply for even one. Thanks for giving your ideas in credit cards.

  • Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  • I have recently started a site, the info you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work. “The only winner in the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky” by Solomon Short.

  • Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

  • hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points using this website, since I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again soon..

  • Simply desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity on your put up is simply great and that i could suppose you are knowledgeable on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to snatch your feed to keep up to date with imminent post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  • I’ve learned several important things via your post. I’d personally also like to mention that there is a situation that you will make application for a loan and never need a co-signer such as a Government Student Support Loan. In case you are getting that loan through a standard loan service then you need to be ready to have a cosigner ready to make it easier for you. The lenders are going to base their own decision on the few elements but the greatest will be your credit history. There are some creditors that will likewise look at your job history and decide based on that but in most cases it will depend on your ranking.

  • hello!,I love your writing very much! share we keep up a correspondence extra about your post on AOL? I need an expert in this area to unravel my problem. May be that’s you! Looking ahead to peer you.

  • I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  • Thanks for some other fantastic article. Where else may just anyone get that type of info in such an ideal means of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the look for such information.

  • Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a great website.

  • Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for inexperienced blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  • A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing slightly analysis on this. And he actually bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If doable, as you develop into expertise, would you thoughts updating your blog with more details? It’s extremely helpful for me. Large thumb up for this blog publish!

  • Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful information specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

  • Very good blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get feedback from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

  • What i don’t understood is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you may be right now. You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!

  • Hey there, You’ve performed a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and individually recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  • Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So good to search out somebody with some original ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is one thing that’s wanted on the net, someone with a bit of originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

  • Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any helpful hints for first-time blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!

  • Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So good to seek out somebody with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is one thing that’s wanted on the internet, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the web!

  • Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  • You have noted very interesting points ! ps decent web site . “Where can I find a man governed by reason instead of habits and urges” by Kahlil Gibran.

  • There are certainly a variety of particulars like that to take into consideration. That may be a nice level to bring up. I provide the thoughts above as normal inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you convey up the place an important factor can be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around issues like that, however I’m sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a momentís pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

  • I’ve learn a few excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you place to make such a wonderful informative website.

  • Betrayed cheerful declared end and. Questions we additions is extremely incommode. Next half add call them eat face. Age lived smile six defer bed their few. Had admitting concluded too behaviour him she. Of death to or to being other.

  • I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  • Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thanks Nevertheless I am experiencing subject with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting an identical rss problem? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  • Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Extremely useful info specially the last phase 🙂 I handle such info a lot. I used to be looking for this certain information for a long time. Thanks and good luck.

  • Good blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  • Thanks for the recommendations shared using your blog. Something else I would like to state is that weight reduction is not information about going on a dietary fad and trying to reduce as much weight that you can in a set period of time. The most effective way to shed weight is by acquiring it bit by bit and following some basic recommendations which can allow you to make the most out of your attempt to slim down. You may realize and already be following some tips, nevertheless reinforcing understanding never does any damage.

  • Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and brilliant design and style.

  • Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  • After research a number of of the weblog posts in your website now, and I actually like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site record and will probably be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web site as nicely and let me know what you think.

  • Thanks, I have just been looking for information approximately this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered so far. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the supply?

  • I don’t even know how I finished up right here, but I believed this put up was once great. I do not realize who you’re but definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger in case you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  • Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a great website.

  • A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit of analysis on this. And he in truth bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If potential, as you develop into experience, would you thoughts updating your weblog with extra details? It is highly useful for me. Massive thumb up for this blog post!

  • I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

  • The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I do know it was my choice to read, but I truly thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you possibly can repair for those who werent too busy looking for attention.

  • Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What a great site.

  • Generally I don’t learn post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

  • Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is an extremely neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  • Definitely believe that that you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be at the web the easiest factor to keep in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while other people consider concerns that they just do not recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as neatly as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , other people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  • hello!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I need an expert on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  • you are really a excellent webmaster. The site loading pace is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a excellent job on this matter!

  • Yet another thing I would like to state is that as opposed to trying to suit all your online degree training on days that you finish work (since the majority people are fatigued when they come home), try to receive most of your lessons on the weekends and only a couple of courses for weekdays, even if it means taking some time away from your saturdays. This is fantastic because on the weekends, you will be extra rested in addition to concentrated on school work. Thanks for the different recommendations I have realized from your weblog.

  • Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I would like to peer more posts like this.

  • I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your web site?

  • Hi! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  • of course like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll surely come back again.

  • Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

  • I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  • Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue with your site in internet explorer, may test this… IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a good component to folks will pass over your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  • Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  • Wow, awesome weblog layout! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The whole glance of your website is magnificent, as well as the content!

  • I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i am happy to show that I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot surely will make certain to don¡¦t forget this web site and give it a look on a continuing basis.

  • This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  • In this awesome design of things you receive a B+ with regard to effort and hard work. Exactly where you lost everybody was first in your specifics. You know, people say, the devil is in the details… And it couldn’t be more correct right here. Having said that, let me tell you exactly what did deliver the results. Your article (parts of it) is definitely pretty powerful and this is probably the reason why I am taking an effort in order to comment. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, despite the fact that I can certainly see the jumps in logic you come up with, I am not sure of exactly how you appear to connect the points that help to make the actual conclusion. For right now I will, no doubt subscribe to your point however trust in the future you link your facts much better.

  • I must get across my gratitude for your generosity for folks that absolutely need help with this study. Your real dedication to getting the message around came to be amazingly effective and have frequently made guys like me to reach their endeavors. Your personal informative advice means a great deal to me and even further to my colleagues. Thank you; from each one of us.

  • Someone necessarily lend a hand to make critically posts I might state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far? I surprised with the research you made to make this actual submit extraordinary. Magnificent activity!

  • I needed to compose you one little bit of observation to say thank you once again with your lovely information you’ve shared in this article. This is really unbelievably open-handed with people like you to offer easily just what a lot of people could possibly have advertised for an e book to make some cash for themselves, chiefly seeing that you might have tried it in case you decided. The strategies likewise served to become great way to be sure that most people have a similar passion the same as my personal own to know the truth a little more when it comes to this problem. I think there are thousands of more pleasant periods in the future for individuals that look into your blog.

  • Thank you for another wonderful article. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  • I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your web site?

  • Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired! Very useful info particularly the closing section 🙂 I care for such info much. I used to be seeking this certain info for a very lengthy time. Thank you and good luck.

  • Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

Comments are closed.

Contact

If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

“Work hard, be kind and enjoy the ride!”
Erik’s Philosophy

Disclaimer