Rules for Turning Right at a Red Light

Turning right on a red light is permitted everywhere in Québec, except on the island of Montréal and in places where a sign prohibits it.

When turning right at a red light is prohibited only for a certain period, a small sign is attached below the sign.

Drivers’ Obligations

Before turning right at a red light, you must:

  • Stop your vehicle before the stop line or crosswalk;

  • Check for a sign prohibiting turning right at the red light;

  • Yield the way to other road users who are entering or about to enter the intersection; and

  • Make sure that there are no pedestrians or cyclists coming on your right.

Pedestrians always have the right of way if a light allows them to cross. If there is no pedestrian light, they have the right of way on the green light.

Watching out for other users

Turning right at a red light is a privilege. If you decide to do this, be mindful of pedestrians and cyclists.

Cyclist’s Obligations

When you ride a bicycle, you must follow the same rules as vehicle drivers when turning right on a red light.

Reasons for Prohibiting Turning Right at a Red Light

Signs prohibiting turning right at a red light may be posted at certain intersections for the following reasons:

  • insufficient visibility distance;

  • restricted lane width so that trucks and buses encroach on opposing lanes;

  • the unusual shape of the intersection;

  • there is a protected zone with a pedestrian light;

  • a significant number of pedestrians or cyclists crossing at the intersection;

  • the proximity of a railroad; and

  • a conflict between the right turn manoeuvre at a red light and the movements of visually impaired people.

Furthermore, turning right on a red light is prohibited if the intersection involves unusual manoeuvres. An example would be when there are two left-turn lanes for oncoming traffic or two right-turn lanes. Turning right on a red light is also prohibited if more than three accidents in the past 12-month period were caused by right turns.

Last update: November 24, 2022

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