B.C.: The Motor Vehicle Act and the Rules of the Road

Update:

The Motor Vehicle Act defines British Columbia road laws. It outlines laws that govern the operation of motor vehicles on B.C. roads – defining the rules of the road and related offences and sanctions.
The Motor Vehicle Act defines British Columbia road laws. It outlines laws that govern the operation of motor vehicles on B.C. roads – defining the rules of the road and related offences and sanctions.

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  • The Motor Vehicle Act defines British Columbia road laws. It outlines laws that govern the operation of motor vehicles on B.C. roads – defining the rules of the road and related offences and sanctions.
  • The Criminal Code of Canada defines criminal motor vehicle offences.
  • The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is mandated to regulate driver behaviour, further support the law, and uphold administrative justice through driver behaviour intervention programs and administrative reviews – see About Us page on this site.
  • The police enforce road laws by ticketing drivers for traffic violations, issuing sanctions for disobeying the rules (driving prohibitions/suspensions) and/or laying criminal offence charges.
  • The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is delegated under the Motor Vehicle Act to provide direct services to clients (vehicle registration and licensing; driver training, testing and licensing; administrative processes; maintaining driving records and applying penalty points; receiving payments and applications for reviews of certain sanctions).

A List of Traffic Violations with Associated Fines and Penalty Points

For some offences or convictions such as excessive speeding, a Driver Risk Premium (see that section below, under Driver Risk Premium) may apply in addition to fines and points.
Motor Vehicle Act Section Description Fine
Point level
24(1)No driver’s licence/wrong class$2763
24(3)(b)Drive without insurance$5980
25(15)Drive contrary to restriction (e.g., not wearing corrective lenses)$1093
25(15)Drive contrary to restriction (new driver using electronic device while driving)$1673
33(1)Fail to produce driver’s licence or insurance$810
73(1)Fail to stop for police$1383
121Unsafe driving of maintenance or construction vehicle$1092
123Fail to obey police direction$1092
125Disobey traffic control device$1212
127(1)(a)(ii)Fail to yield to pedestrian$1672
127(1)(a)(iii)Fail to yield to vehicle-green light$1672
128(1)(a)Yellow light at intersection/no stop before intersection$1672
128(2)(a)Yellow light-no intersection$1092
129(1)Red light at intersection$1672
129(3)Fail to yield-right turn-red light$1672
129(4)(b)Fail to yield-left turn-red light$1672
129(5)(a)Red light-no intersection$1672
130(1)(a)Fail to yield or disobey green arrow$1672
130(2)(a)(i)Fail to stop-yellow arrow-marked crosswalk$1672
130(2)(a)(ii)Fail to stop-yellow arrow-intersection$1672
130(2)(b)Fail to yield-yellow arrow-pedestrian$1672
131(1)(a)Red flashing light at intersection$1672
131(2)(a)Red flashing light-no intersection$1382
131(3)(a)Yellow flashing light at intersection$1672
131(4)(a)Yellow flashing light-no intersection$1382
131(5)(a)Fail to yield at green flashing light$1672
134Fail to obey lane direction control signal$1212
140Disobey construction signs$196-$2533
141Disobey flagman$1963
143Drive over newly painted lines$1092
144(1)(a)Drive without due care$3686
144(1)(b)Drive without consideration$1966
144(1)(c)Speed relative to conditions$1673
145(1)Slow driving$1213
146(1)Speed in/outside municipality$138-$1963
146(3)Speed against highway sign$138-$1963
146(5)Speed against area sign$138-$1963
146(7)Speed against municipal sign$138-$1963
146(11)Speed on municipal lane$1383
147(1)Speed in school zone$196-$2533
147(2)Speed in playground zone$196-2533
148(1)Excessive speed$368-4833
149Fail to stop for school bus$1673
150(1)Fail to keep right$1093
150(2)Slow vehicle not on right$1093
150(3)Fail to keep right of rotary traffic island$1093
151(a)Unsafe lane change$1092
151(b)Lane change solid line$1092
151(c)Change lanes without signal$1092
151(d)Left turn from wrong lane$1092
151(e)Right turn from wrong lane$1092
151(f)Illegal pass on laned roadway$1092
151(g)Slow moving in wrong lane$1092
​151.1(3)​Improper use of leftmost lane​$1673​
154Passing when meeting oncoming traffic$1093
155(1)(a)Cross solid double line$1093
155(1)(b)(i)Fail to keep right of double broken/solid line$1093
155(1)(b)(ii)Cross solid broken line$1093
155(1)(c)Fail to keep right of single broken or solid line$1093
157(1)(a)Fail to pass at safe distance$1093
157(1)(b)Fail to complete pass safely$1093
157(2)(a)Fail to yield passing vehicle$1093
157(2)(b)Increase speed while being passed$1093
158(1)Pass on right$1092
158(2)(a)Unsafe pass on right$1092
158(2)(b)Pass on right off roadway$1092
159Unsafe pass on left$1093
160Pass without clear view$1093
161Disobey traffic sign or signal$1212
162(1)Follow too closely$1093
162(2)Commercial vehicle follow too closely$1093
162(3)Fail to leave sufficient space between vehicle for passing$1093
163(a)Drive over highway divider$1093
163(b)Fail to keep right on divided highway$1093
164(1)Enter controlled access highway$1093
164(2)Leave controlled access highway$1093
165(5)Improper turn at intersection$1093
166Improper left turn-no intersection$1212
167Improper right turn-no intersection$1212
168(a)Unsafe U-turn$1212
168(b)(iii)Prohibited U-turn$1212
168(b)(iv)U-turn – intersection$1672
168(b)(v)U-turn – business district$1212
169Unsafe start$1092
170(1)No signal on turn$1212
170(2)Inadequate signal on turn$1212
170(3)Fail to signal stop or decrease in speed$1212
171(2)Drive without signal device$1092
172(2)No proper signalling equipment for right-hand drive vehicle$1092
173(1)Fail to yield at uncontrolled intersection$1672
174Fail to yield on left turn/fail to yield to left turn vehicle$1672
175(1)Fail to yield after stop$1672
175(2)Fail to yield to vehicle leaving stop$1672
176(1)Emerging vehicle-fail to stop$1212
176(2)Emerging vehicle-fail to yield$1212
177Fail to yield for emergency vehicle$1093
179(1)Fail to yield to pedestrian$1673
179(3)Pass vehicle yielding for pedestrian$1673
179(4)Disobey school guard/ patrol$1673
181Fail to exercise duty to pedestrian$1382
185(1)Fail to stop or leave safely at railway crossing$1092
185(2)Drive past railway crossing gate$1092
185(4)(e)Commercial vehicle-no stop at railway crossing$1092
185(5)Fail to proceed with caution at railway crossing$1092
186Disobey stop sign$1673
191(2)(a)Unsecured motor vehicle$810
193Reverse into intersection$1212
193Reverse when unsafe$1092
196Improper operation of vehicle on canyon, defile, or on mountain road$1092
197Coast down grade illegally$1212
198Follow fire truck too closely/ park near fire truck$812
199Drive over fire hose$812
200Drive on sidewalk$812
203(1)Open door while unsafe$812
214.2 (1)Using electronic device while driving$1673
214.2 (2)Emailing or texting while driving$1673

 

Motorcycle Helmet/Passenger Violations and Fines

Motor Vehicle Act section
Description
​Fine​Point level
194(1)Operate motorcycle-not on seat$1212
194(2)(a)Passenger unlawfully on motorcycle$1090
194(2)(b)Motorcycle passenger not lawfully seated$1090
194(2)(c)Fail to use foot pegs or floorboards$1090
194(3)Ride motorcycle without required helmet$1380
194(4)(a)Permit passenger under 16 to be unlawfully seated$1092
194(4)(b)Permit passenger under 16 to ride without required helmet$1380
194(9)Obstruct a peace officer$2760
194(10)Operate motorcyle-more than two abreast$1092

 

Seatbelt Violations and Fines

Motor Vehicle Act section Description Fine
Point level
220(2)Operate vehicle without
seatbelts
$1670
220(3)Operate vehicle with
inoperative seatbelt
$1670
220(4)Fail to wear seatbelt$1670
220(6)Permit passenger without
seatbelt
$1670

 

Motor Vehicle Act Regulations

Motor Vehicle Act section Description Fine
Point level
3.02Improper display of plate$2300
3.03Illegible plate$2300
7A.01Unnecessary noise$1093
30.13Fail to display “L” or “N” sign$1090
47.02Fail to slow down or move over near stopped official vehicle$1733

 

Fines Levied by the Courts

Motor Vehicle Act Section
​Description
​Fine​Point
level
70(1)(a)Illegal use or possession of
permit or insurance
$115-
2,300
0
70(1.1)(a)Illegal use or possession of
identification card
$460-
23,000
0
70(1.1)(b)Illegal use or possession of
driver’s licence
$460-
23,000
0
Motor vehicle-related Criminal Code (Canada) offences10
95(1)Driving while prohibited$575-
2,300
10
234(1)Driving while suspended$575-
2,300
10

 

Driver Risk Premium

You will pay a Driver Risk Premium if you have

  • one or more driving-related Criminal Code convictions

  • one or more 10-point Motor Vehicle Act convictions

  • one or more excessive speeding convictions and/or two or more roadside suspensions/prohibitions.

How the Driver Risk Premium is calculated

Each year just prior to your assessment date (which is usually your date of birth) we review your driving record for offences in the previous three years.

You receive only one DRP invoice per year, but each driving offence may impact DRP billings for more than one year, depending on the rest of your driving record in a three-year period.

The Driver Risk Premium, like Driver Penalty Points, is separate from Autoplan insurance premiums. They are billed even if you don’t own or insure a vehicle.

Premium amounts

This table shows the DRP amounts you may have to pay for different types of driving offences.

Conviction countCriminal Code of Canada convictionsRoadside suspensions/prohibitionsExcessive speed
1$905$320
2$3,760$370$370
3$8,160$430$430
4$14,560$490$490
5$24,000$560$560
6$24,000$640$640
7$24,000$740$740
8$24,000$850$850
9$24,000$980$980
10$24,000$1,130$1,130

Amounts continue to increase for more than 10 convictions.

 

Ways you can save money

Two options are available to reduce the cost of your Driver Penalty Point Risk Premium (DRP):

  • If you give up your driver’s licence for your entire billing period, your DRP premium could be eliminated. Please contact us to discuss your personal situation.
  • If you give up your licence for at least 30 days during your billing period, your DRP premium can be reduced.

Steps to get your reduction

To give up your licence:

  1. Go to a driver licensing office and let them you’d like to give up your licence to reduce your premium.
  2. When your chosen length of time has passed, call us to confirm the amount owing.
  3. Return to a driver licensing office to reapply for your licence
  4. Pay what is owed on your Driver-Risk Premium as well as the fee to have your licence re-issued.

DRP questions and answers

Q: Will I have to pay the DRP for more than one year?

A: You will only receive one Driver Risk Premium invoice per year, but DRP looks at all eligible convictions in a three-year period, so a single serious conviction may result in a DRP invoice in each of those three years.

Q: Why is DRP based on a three-year driving record scan?

A: Three years of driving history provides a more accurate prediction of the risk a driver represents (that is, the likelihood they will have a crash resulting in claims costs) than a shorter period of time.

Q: Is DRP part of my Autoplan premium?

A: The DRP and Driver Penalty Point premiums are separate from Autoplan insurance premiums.

They are billed even if you don’t own or insure a vehicle. Any revenue generated offsets Autoplan insurance premiums.

Q: Is the Driver Penalty Point program(DPP) still in place?

A: The Driver Risk Premium (DRP) and Driver Penalty Point programs operate in parallel.

Q: Will I get two bills if I have driving convictions that apply to DPP and DRP?

A: You will only be billed under one program. Whether it’s DRP or DPP depends on which has the higher premium.

Q: What happens if I don’t pay the premium?

A: If you don’t pay your Driver Risk Premium, interest will be applied to any outstanding amount.

Insurance coverage provided with your driver’s licence will not be valid and you will not be able to complete any driver’s licence or vehicle insurance transactions until you pay any debts owing to ICBC or the government.

Senior Drivers

Health problems tend to manifest themselves, or become more prevalent as drivers age which is why, beginning at age 80 and every two years thereafter, drivers must be assessed by their doctor and submit a medical report to RoadSafetyBC.   Further, cognitive impairment with respect to driving represents a growing public safety issue as BC’s population ages.  As a result it is imperative that drivers who show signs of cognitive decline are assessed to ensure that they are fit to drive.

Age 80 Driver’s Medical Examination Report (DMER)

The Driver Medical Examination Report (DMER) is the primary tool used by RoadSafetyBC for initial assessment of the severity, progression, treatment or effects of medical conditions that may affect a driver’s fitness to drive.   When a driver reaches age 80 and at every 2 years thereafter, RoadSafetyBC requires that the driver have a DMER completed by their physician and sent to RoadSafetyBC.

RoadSafetyBC reviews the completed DMER and informs the driver in writing if any further information or assessment is required. RoadSafetyBC also notifies the driver, in writing, of any driver’s licence status changes which occur as a result of the information on the report.  There is more information about RoadSafetyBC’s processes for making driver fitness decisions on our Driver Medical Fitness page.

Below is a sample copy of the Driver Medical Examination Report:

Important: DMERs must be completed and returned to RoadSafetyBC within 45 days of the date that the DMER was issued or the driver’s licence may be cancelled. Information and instructions are provided on the back of the DMER form. There may be situations where it is not possible for the driver to meet the timelines indicated on the form. If the timelines cannot be met, the driver must contact RoadSafetyBC as soon as possible to seek an extension of the time limit. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the driver’s licence.

Resources & Alternatives to Driving

A number of organizations, including ICBC, SeniorsBC and BCAA, provide information and resources for seniors about:

  • staying safe on the road;
  • the impact that medical conditions may have on safe driving ability; and
  • planning for driving retirement.

ICBC – “Tips for Senior Drivers

BCAA – “Older Drivers

Further, if you are thinking about retiring from driving, there are a number of resources to help you maintain your identification needs, independence, and mobility.

If you are no longer eligible to hold a driver’s licence and you use your driver’s licence as photo ID, you can exchange it for a free official BC Identification card, which is accepted as ID anywhere a driver’s licence is accepted.

The BC Identification card includes your photo and all the same security features as a driver’s licence – you can get one for free at any Driver Licensing Office (ICBC or Service BC).

For a comprehensive list of resources to help you with your transportation needs, click the picture below to be taken to SeniorsBC.ca.

Or the Medically-At-Risk Driver Centre’s database of alternatives to driving in BC

Please note that the above resources are not maintained by RoadSafetyBC, and we, therefore, cannot verify that they are current.  These resources may also be subject to change.

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