Main Street left turns can net drivers $172 fine

An increase in collisions on Main Street in the past six months have prompted police to remind everyone

An increase in collisions on Main Street in the past six months have prompted police to remind everyone that left-hand turns on 50 Street are not allowed.

With the exception of turning on to intersecting avenues, drivers cannot turn left on Main Street. When drivers do, it usually is to park in the angle parking spaces, RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Babchuk explained.

Due to the driving practice, RCMP will be initiating an enforcement operation over the next number of weeks to curtail drivers from making the left turns, in between intersections.

“For example, vehicles have been observed traveling in a north direction and then make a left turn to park in a vacant parking space, that is designated for southbound traffic,” Babchuk said. “This is also a common practice for southbound traffic, to make a turn into a northbound designated parking space.”

The Alberta Traffic Safety Act designates, under the Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulations: When operating a vehicle on a highway, in the case where double solid lines exist between traffic lanes, a person shall not drive the vehicle so that the vehicle or any portion of the vehicle crosses the double solid lines, from one traffic lane to another.

The penalty for driving across the painted median or a double solid line is $172. RCMP Traffic Enforcement investigators will have a zero tolerance for this driving behaviour.

Shaking off winter

As spring settles in and the winter begins to melt away, the number of people on area roadways using small vehicles increases, according to Babchuk.

Drivers being aware of these smaller vehicles on the road is important, but operators of these small vehicles also need to be aware of the rules, he said.

There are different types of small vehicles and each has its own set of rules, he noted. Mopeds, motorcycles, off-highway vehicles (like ATVs) and power bicycles are just some vehicles people can see out and about as the weather warms up.

Power bicycles, essentially bicycles with an electric motor with a maximum power of 500 watts and a top speed of 32 km/h, can be used by people 12 years of age and older, and require drivers to wear a helmet. They don’t need a licence, registration or insurance.

Mopeds require a class 7 driver’s licence and cannot be operated by people under the age of 12. They must be registered, require insurance and require the wearing of a helmet.

Motorcycles require a class six licence and people under 16 can’t drive them. Licence, helmet and insurance is required.

Off-highway vehicles cannot be operated on public roads except to directly cross. If operated on private property they do not require a licence, but if operated on a roadway at any time or on public property a licence is required. They cannot be operated by people under the age of 14 and require registration and insurance.

Helmets worn must be approved motorcycle helmets.

Some vehicles are considered prohibited small vehicles, and include go carts, scooters, pocket bikes and golf carts. They are not allowed on highways or public property unless the driver acquires a special permit.