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Driving through intersections


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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

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 yellow. 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.

When you approach an intersection on a main road, and the road beyond the side street is blocked with traffic, stop before entering the intersection and wait until the traffic ahead moves on. This does not apply if you are turning left or right.

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.

At a controlled intersection where you face a stop sign, come to a complete stop. Drive through the intersection only when the way is clear.



Uncontrolled intersections

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.



Yielding the right-of-way

There are times when you must yield the right-of-way. This means you must let another person go first. Here are some rules about when you must yield the right-of-way.

Illustration of vehicles at uncontrolled intersection Illustration of vehicles at controlled intersection Diagram 2-11 Diagram 2-12

At an intersection without signs or lights, you must yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the right (Diagram 2-11).

At an intersection with stop signs at all corners, you must yield 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 (Diagram 2-12).

Illustration of vehicle yielding right of way at intersection Illustration of vehicle entering road from private road or driveway Diagram 2-13

Diagram 2-14

At any intersection where you want to turn left or right, you must yield the right-of-way. If you are turning left, you must wait for approaching traffic to pass or turn and for pedestrians in your path to cross. If you are turning right, you must wait for pedestrians to cross if they are in your path (Diagram 2-13).

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.

When entering a road from a private road or driveway, you must yield to vehicles on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalk (Diagram 2-14).

Illustration of vehicles yielding right-of-way to pedestrians Diagram 2-15

You must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing at specially marked pedestrian crossings or crossovers (Diagram 2-15).

Remember, signalling does not give you the right-of-way. You must make sure the way is clear.

© 2003 Queen's Printer for Ontario

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