Behaviours – Turning Right at a Red Light

Did You Know?

Turning right at a red light is a privilege that comes with a number of obligations.

Turning right at a red light is allowed:

In Canada and the United States except in New York City and on the island of Montréal, and where prohibited by a traffic sign.

Concerning the prohibition from turning right on red on the island of Montréal

Traffic signs indicating the prohibition from turning right on red have been installed at Montréal points of entry, including bridges, tunnels, ferries and the airport.

Why turn right at a red light?

Because:

  • it harmonizes Québec regulations with those of most Canadian provinces and American states.
  • it saves time
  • it reduces fuel consumption as well as polluting emissions

A red traffic light means coming to a full stop

Where turning right on red is permitted:

  1. You must come to a full stop.
  2. You must ensure that it is safe to turn right at the red light.
  3. You must yield the right of way to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles that are about to enter or that have already entered the intersection.

When do pedestrians have the right of way?

  • If there is a pedestrian traffic light, they have the right of way when the white pedestrian signal appears.
  • If there is no pedestrian traffic light, they have the right of way at a green light.

Turning right at a red light is a privilege, not an obligation

  • Respect the decision of a driver who decides not to turn right at a red light.
  • Never honk your horn to force the driver ahead. Doing so is not only rude, it is also an offence liable to a fine of $100 to $200 for using the horn without a valid reason.