Cpl. Mike Bacqué
RCMP South West Regional Traffic Services
South-West Highway and Traffic Safety
RCMP regularly enforce traffic safety laws pertaining to intersections as these are known to be areas where collisions occur. In Saskatchewan, 40 per cent of collisions occur at intersections resulting in 4,000 injuries and 37 fatalities. Driver inattention, failing to yield right-of-way, and disregarding traffic control signals rank among the top causal factors when collisions occur. (Source: SGI)
Driving offences related to intersections typically have fines of $230. Slow down as you come to intersections and look carefully for traffic, yield signs, stop signs, traffic lights, cyclists and pedestrians. There are two main types of intersections: controlled and uncontrolled.
Controlled intersections have traffic lights, yield signs or stop signs to control traffic. At a controlled intersection where you face a green light, drive carefully through the intersection at a steady speed. If the light has been green for a while, be prepared to stop when it turns amber. However, if you are already so close that you cannot stop safely, drive through the intersection with caution. Where you face a red light, come to a complete stop and wait until the light turns green. A right turn cannot be legally made on a red light until after a complete stop has been made and where prohibited by a sign.
At a controlled intersection where you face a yield sign, slow down or stop if necessary and wait until the way is clear before driving through the intersection. A yield sign means you must slow down or stop if necessary and yield the right-of-way to traffic in the intersection or on the intersecting road. At a controlled intersection where you face a stop sign, come to a complete stop. Provide the right-of-way to the first vehicle to come to a complete stop. If two vehicles stop at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right. Drive through the intersection only when the way is clear. When entering a road from a private road or driveway, you must yield to vehicles on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalk.
Uncontrolled intersections have no signs or traffic lights. They are usually found in areas where there is not much traffic. Be extra careful around these intersections. If two vehicles come to an uncontrolled intersection from different roads at the same time, the driver on the left must let the driver on the right go first. This is called yielding the right-of-way. (Source: DrivingSchool.ca)
When approaching an intersection, you must yield the right of way to any pedestrians who are crossing the street. You must stop your vehicle before the crosswalk, which will either be painted on the road or be an imaginary extension of the sidewalk. If a traffic light changes while a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, the pedestrian has the right of way.
You must stop your vehicle when directed to do so by a school crossing guard controlling a crosswalk. You may not pass any vehicle that is stopped at an intersection to permit pedestrians to cross.
As a pedestrian, you must not attempt to cross at an intersection unless you have given motorists a chance to stop. Pedestrians walking along a road should walk on the left shoulder, facing oncoming traffic. Note: Pedestrians also include persons in wheelchairs, motorized wheelchairs and medical scooters. (Source: SGI)
Be prepared for the unexpected and share the road safely.