The Timmins Police Service – Traffic Section is issuing a public advisory to local motorists in regards to the appropriate and legal use of center turning lanes within the city of Timmins.
Numerous complaints are received at the Timmins Police Service – Traffic Section in regards to the unsafe use of the center lane in terms of it being used as a merge lane, which is clearly not its intended or legal purpose.
Numerous collisions or near miss traffic events occur as a result of motorists using this lane inappropriately for the purpose of merging into traffic, rather than its intended purpose of allowing traffic to complete left hand turns.
It is apparent that all too often, drivers leaving a business or private drive turn left and take to the center lane (the turning lane) and then wait to attempt to merge into traffic in the normal lanes.
This “two stage” type of turn endeavor is contrary to the Highway Traffic Act.
Simply stated, the center lane: the lane located between any two lanes of traffic travelling east and west is designated to allow for traffic to complete a left hand turn only.
This is its only legal purpose and intended use for this type of lane.
This is particularly prominent on the stretch of Riverside Drive located between Norman Street and Shirley Street.
It also occurs frequently in South Porcupine between the entrances for the Tim Horton’s restaurant and Northern College.
Legal guidance has been received from the provincial prosecutor in regards to this on-going traffic concern.
Those motorists found using this lane of traffic inappropriately can rightfully expect a swift and firm response from any Timmins Police officer who observes this type of traffic violation.
Here again, the Timmins Police would much rather educate than prosecute, but the motoring public must comply with the Highway Traffic Act in regards to the proper use of traffic turn lanes.