Behaviours – Turning Right at a Red Light

Did You Know?

Right turns on red are unique to Canada and the United States. It is a privilege that comes with a number of obligations.

Turning right at a red light is only allowed in Canada and the United States

Important: this manoeuvre is prohibited in New York City and on the island of Montréal.

Why turn right at a red light?

Because it allows to:

  • harmonize Québec regulations with that of most Canadian provinces and American states.
  • save time
  • reduce fuel consumption as well as polluting emissions

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.

Useful information

If you travel to Europe, Mexico or elsewhere

Never turn right at a red light! This manoeuvre is prohibited.

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 yield the right of way to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles that have already entered the lane you wish to turn into.

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.