Canadian and German traffic rules are quite similar. Nevertheless, there are some peculiarities to be explained here. At first it may seem confusing that the traffic lights are hanging on the other side of the intersection. When you turn right on a green light, you have suddenly a red traffic light in front of you which does not apply for you. What is really confusing however, are four way intersections with stop signs on every street. What to do here?
These intersections are marked with a stop sign and another smaller sign that says “4-Way” or “3 -Way” (at a T-junction).
Each car must stop at the stop line. Whoever comes to a complete stop first may precede first, then the second, third, etc. If two cars arrive simultaneously, then right over left. If more cars arrive at the stop sign at the same time, people look at each other and use friendly hand signals to explain who should go next.
Turning right on a red traffic light is allowed after a complete stop at the stop line and after having checked that the way is clear. This rule does not apply when the traffic light has a sign indicating “No right turn on red”. In that case the usual traffic light rules apply.
If one of the famous yellow school buses is stopped on the roadside and is displaying a flashing, alternating red lamp, then all vehicles from either direction (even the oncoming) must stop. A useful rule to protect the school children.
Canadian drivers are very considerate and if you, as a pedestrian, want to cross the road, cars will stop for you to make sure you can reach the other side safely. We experienced it ourselves; in Calgary on a four-lane road all traffic stopped because we were just standing by the roadside. Actually, we were only considering whether we should continue on or turn around. In order not to annoy the drivers, we crossed the street only to get back at the next light without being the cause of a traffic jam.
A request for campers
A strong plea to all motorhome drivers: think about the people behind you! Who likes to drive behind a wall for hours? Try to give the vehicles behind you the opportunity to pass you. What is really annoying are the trucks that tend to drive faster than allowed, also on winding, narrow roads – time is money. It’s best to let them pass as soon as possible. Also, while driving your motorhome, don’t drive onto a road quickly before an oncoming vehicle so that you are driving in front of them for the next while. Try to think how you would feel.
We wish you a good and safe trip.