Common road rule misunderstandings

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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby Oxford » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:50 am

human909 wrote:
myforwik wrote:Which brings me to another misconception: If the lights are flashing orange the 'main road' has the right of way. You see this all the time at a 4 lane road crossing a 2 lane road. No one gives way to the right.

Misconception? No, just idiots.

I've seen drivers blast through intersections at 60kph and 80kph where the lights are out (due to power failure) so effectively in becomes an uncontrolled intersection. Bloody idiots. People are so use to control that they have no idea how to behave when it doesn't exist.

They see lights as 'stop only if red'. Whereas they should see as 'should be safe to proceed only if green'
so true, I nearly got rear ended once slowing for flashing amber lights because the joker behind me just assumed because we were the "main" road, we should just zoom on through. what did he do? pass me on the left and proceeded at speed through the intersection nearly having an accident. probably didn't learn anything from it and figured it was the other drivers fault.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby wellington_street » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:19 pm

myforwik wrote:In general people don't understand even *basics* of the legal road rules.

Consider a car and a pedestrian heading in the same direction, the car wants to turn left and the pedestrian continue straight. Most people think it can only play out 2 ways:
1. The car left hooks the pedestrian causing them to stop. The car has broken the road rule about giving way.
2. The pedestrian steps out in front of the car causing it to stop. The pedestrian has broken the road rules by stepping onto the road and making themselves a hazard.

In both situations neither party is 100% innocent or 100% guilty.

By the road rules what meant to happen is: The pedestrian stops. The car stops and gives way, the pedestrian then proceeds. The car has given way, the pedestrian has not moved into the path of a vehicle or made themselves a hazard as the vehicle is now stationary.

No where in the road rules does anyone ever have right of way. You actually have an onus to give way and/or not make yourself a hazard - which applies even if you have 'right of way'.


I don't agree with that interpretation. if you are a pedestrian crossing the road in that situation, all vehicles turning into that road must give way to you, therefore crossing the road cannot be considered being a hazard or obstruction as those you are apparently obstructing are legally required to give way to you.

Over here in WA, nobody seems to be aware that you have to give way to pedestrians crossing a slip lane. I get the occassional person who lets you pass when they have to give way to other traffic anyway but good luck at any other time!

In regards to the 'right of way' comments, I use that term when referring to the position where the other vehicle(s) involved must give way to the subject.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby il padrone » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:24 pm

wellington_street wrote:I don't agree with that interpretation. if you are a pedestrian crossing the road in that situation, all vehicles turning into that road must give way to you, therefore crossing the road cannot be considered being a hazard or obstruction as those you are apparently obstructing are legally required to give way to you.

+1

An expectation you must stop at the crosswalk would be equivalent to expecting every driver entering a intersection to stop, even where the cross streets have giveway signs. In reality a stopped ped is treated by most drivers (and lots of cyclists) as someone ceding way to them and they just crash on through.

wellington_street wrote:In regards to the 'right of way' comments, I use that term when referring to the position where the other vehicle(s) involved must give way to the subject.

Probably 'precedence' would be a more appropriate term to use.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby myforwik » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:27 pm

Inwood wrote:Well there you go, I wasn't fully aware of the road shoulder thing. So does that include an on-road "bike lane" - the brisbane style ones which just involve yellow bicycles painted on the edge lines?

I have seen cyclists at an intersection pass a row of queued cars on the left, but then stop on a section of tarmac with painted cross hatches (kind of like a painted island) and then wait there for the lights to go green. To me this means they have to give way to the cars so there's no point in doing what they do. As you normally get through on the first change of lights I just end up queuing with the cars and take the middle of the lane. Personally I still haven't quite figured out the exact rules that apply to passing queued cars on the left - in particular rejoining the traffic up the front. The rules say something about "when safe" and I hardly ever feel safe doing it - usually only when its a single lane each way and the lanes are very wide.


The yellow bikes mean absolutely nothing. They are merely suggestions/warning simple that bikes may be present. Originally they were meant to be painted to indicate where bikes may be and the width they will need to pass. However the government watered it down to the point where they are just abused, painted little yellow bikes in the middle of the shoulder line. IMO its a deliberate ploy by the government to encourage the misconception that cyclists should be off in the shoulder somewhere.

A bike lane is part of the road proper. A bike lane has a white bike and/or a sign saying bike lane. You don't have to give way at an intersection.

Rejoining is simple: If you are on the road (ie. right of the shoulder line - which includes a painted island) then you have the right the lane. If you are over the lane in the shoulder or on the painted island you are not technically on the road and have to give way to anyone on the road.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby Aushiker » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:51 pm

myforwik wrote:A bike lane is part of the road proper. A bike lane has a white bike and/or a sign saying bike lane.

At least in WA a bike lane is a only a bike lane when it is signed. Road markings are not signs. You might want to clarify the veractiy of your statment with respect to your state's road rules.

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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby find_bruce » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:24 pm

wellington_street wrote:In regards to the 'right of way' comments, I use that term when referring to the position where the other vehicle(s) involved must give way to the subject.

il padrone wrote:Probably 'precedence' would be a more appropriate term to use.

I don't get the point you are trying to make. I look at the Oxford dictionary which says
right of way, n.
3. a. The right or ability to travel along a given thoroughfare in the face of the claims of other road users; spec. the legal right of a pedestrian, rider, or driver to proceed with precedence over other road users at a specific point or in a particular situation.

If you are saying that there may be other vehicles that a driver has to give way to, eg police vehicles with lights or sirens on, then we are in furious agreement.

I am not being deliberately argumentative, but I genuinely don't understand & am hoping you can explain your pov.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:51 pm

You are stopped at an intersection. The lights turn green. You think you have right of way. A pedestrian/cyclist/other vehicle moves out crossing the intersection from your left. You see them, but proceed anyway because you think "I have right of way". A collision ensues.

Who's at fault? The other person? Ba Baaa!!

No, you are equally at fault for not stopping when you could, to avoid a collision ie. you do not have automatic 'right of way' (I am told only trains have this). The other person may have had an obligation to give way; both of you had an obligation to avoid causing a collision - that's the whole principle behind having road rules.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby tallywhacker » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:59 am

in the WA regs it has

39. Effect of a circular green signal or green arrow
(1) If a traffic-control signal facing a driver displays a circular green signal the driver may —
(a) proceed straight ahead; or
(b) turn right or turn left, if the driver —
(i) does not conflict or interfere with pedestrians crossing the roadway;
(ii) does not turn the vehicle contrary to an instruction on a traffic sign at the intersection;
and
(iii) gives way to any vehicle on the right and, if turning right, gives way to any vehicle that has
entered or is approaching the intersection from the opposite direction

I read it as you have a "right of way" going straight ahead and only need to give way to people crossing the intersection if you are turning.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby David_G » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:45 am

il padrone wrote:You are stopped at an intersection. The lights turn green. You think you have right of way. A pedestrian/cyclist/other vehicle moves out crossing the intersection from your left. You see them, but proceed anyway because you think "I have right of way". A collision ensues.

Who's at fault? The other person? Ba Baaa!!

No, you are equally at fault for not stopping when you could, to avoid a collision ie. you do not have automatic 'right of way' (I am told only trains have this). The other person may have had an obligation to give way; both of you had an obligation to avoid causing a collision - that's the whole principle behind having road
rules
.



Too true, reading back through this thread there are several posts stating "There is no such thing as right of way" yet within one or two replies the old RoW phrase jumps right back in again.
At the start of the thread the post about a Stop and giveway to the right or left of each other sounds completely confusing.
My understanding of the difference between a stop and giveway is only that at the stop sign the vehicle has to come to a complete stop, after which the exact same rules apply as to a giveway. How that intersection can work safely is beyond me.
Maybe it's been set up by the local tow truck/panel beating businesses.

Another misconception of road rules is the "Keep left unless overtaking"
I'm sure it only applies on dual lane carriageways with a speed limit of 70km/h or more, so that doesn't include widish single lanes with 60, 50 or 40 speed limits.
But even when on the freeways it seems to imply that tailgating is OK! I've seen it all over the world too. You haven't lived till you are pootling along an Autobahn in a kombi at about 95 and umpteen screaming Beemers or Benzs, Porsches etc and others hammer past in the left lane at 200+ separated by a metre.
They have a thing where the tailgater leaves their outside indicator on to encourage the car in front to get out of the way.
Of course there's no speed limits on the Autobahns so I don't know who's in the wrong, but I can't see the tailgater explaining away their actions in court as safe in any way.
Last edited by David_G on Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby David_G » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:52 am

DavidS wrote:I know this is Melbourne specific but, as a former Tram driver, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the passing trams rules.

Clearly you can pass a tram at any time if there is a safety zone, that one works ok.

If a tram is stopped at a tram stop you cannot pass the tram if the doors are open. Doesn't matter if no-one is getting on or off, if the doors are open it is a stop sign. If the doors are closed you can pass at a slow speed (8 or 10 KMh if memory serves) if no-one is attempting to get on or off. In other words a tram, at a tram stop, with the doors closed, is like a give way sign: any person attempts to get to the tram to try and get on and you have to stop.

The number of people cycling along Swanston St who don't have any idea, or who just don't care, is astounding.

DS


I've always thought you were only allowed to pass a stationary tram other than at a safety zone when waved past or something similar by a Uniformed Tramways employee and then at no faster than 8km/h. (it was 5mph when I got my licence)

I don't remember anything about the doors being open or closed.
That may have come in since then of course.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby find_bruce » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:39 pm

il padrone wrote:You are stopped at an intersection. The lights turn green. You think you have right of way. A pedestrian/cyclist/other vehicle moves out crossing the intersection from your left. You see them, but proceed anyway because you think "I have right of way". A collision ensues.

Who's at fault? The other person? Ba Baaa!!

No, you are equally at fault for not stopping when you could, to avoid a collision ie. you do not have automatic 'right of way' (I am told only trains have this). The other person may have had an obligation to give way; both of you had an obligation to avoid causing a collision - that's the whole principle behind having road rules.


If you think that someone might confuse the short hand expression "right of way" as giving them a right to commit various criminal offences, including assault and dangerous driving, then I can understand why you prefer to use another expression.

For me I will continue to use the expression in the dictionary meaning set out above, but I accept that you are entitled to have a different opinion.

You might want to avoid travelling in West Australia though as as both regulation 45 and 95 of the Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) are headed "right of way" :)

David_G, under the national road rules you are correct in relation to stop and give way signs - rule 67(1) "A driver at an intersection with a stop sign or stop line, but without traffic lights, must stop and give way in accordance with this rule. " Similarly give way is defined in the dictionary as follows
"give way", for a driver or pedestrian, means:
(a) if the driver or pedestrian is stopped-remain stationary until it is safe to proceed, or
(b) in any other case-slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision."
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby David_G » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:10 pm

find_bruce wrote:If you think that someone might confuse the short hand expression "right of way" as giving them a right to commit various criminal offences, including assault and dangerous driving, then I can understand why you prefer to use another expression.

For me I will continue to use the expression in the dictionary meaning set out above, but I accept that you are entitled to have a different opinion.




It's all a matter of increments I think, if you keep repeating it, more people will think it's true. So I think you are doing the wrong thing if we're looking at the big picture.

You might as well say 'I've got the right to ram you" as that's what a lot of road users act like.

I agree with what you say, we are all entitled to have our opinions on it, and maybe discussing things like this we may make a difference, however small.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby wombatK » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:55 pm

Inwood wrote:*Lots* of intersections have more than 1 stop or give way sign.

The section of the road rules (qld) is:
69A Two or more drivers facing various signs or lines at an
intersection...]

That's a Queensland specific inclusion - any rule with an A suffix in its number is typically a
state-specific rule. It's not in the Australian Road Rules, nor in NSW's. If most other states
can get away without it, you've got to wonder what's so different in Qld that it's needed.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby il padrone » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:31 pm

find_bruce wrote:You might want to avoid travelling in West Australia though as as both regulation 45 and 95 of the Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) are headed "right of way" :)

The term 'right of way' is not even listed in the dictionary for the Victorian Road Rules. It simply is not used. Plenty of references to 'give way' though.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby David_G » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:06 pm

find_bruce wrote:You might want to avoid travelling in West Australia though as as both regulation 45 and 95 of the Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) are headed "right of way" :)



It's headed right of way but the text states who has to give way, so I reckon we are back at the beginning.
You can't claim the right of way, you can only accept it when offered, otherwise you've driven into a dangerous situation.


ROAD TRAFFIC CODE 2000 - REG 95

95 . Right of way in roundabout

A driver entering a roundabout shall give way to a vehicle that is within the roundabout.

Points: 3 Modified penalty: 3 PU


I went in there and had a look at the laws for roundabouts hoping to find that you could only proceed into them when it was safe to do so, but that's not mentioned anywhere.
In Victoria it is added onto the end of every law regarding intersections and by doing that it means that all parties involved in a crash can be held partially liable and also means that no one has any "right" of way, only obligations who to give way to and obligations to only proceed when it's safe.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby DavidS » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:16 am

David_G wrote:
DavidS wrote:I know this is Melbourne specific but, as a former Tram driver, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the passing trams rules.

Clearly you can pass a tram at any time if there is a safety zone, that one works ok.

If a tram is stopped at a tram stop you cannot pass the tram if the doors are open. Doesn't matter if no-one is getting on or off, if the doors are open it is a stop sign. If the doors are closed you can pass at a slow speed (8 or 10 KMh if memory serves) if no-one is attempting to get on or off. In other words a tram, at a tram stop, with the doors closed, is like a give way sign: any person attempts to get to the tram to try and get on and you have to stop.

The number of people cycling along Swanston St who don't have any idea, or who just don't care, is astounding.

DS


I've always thought you were only allowed to pass a stationary tram other than at a safety zone when waved past or something similar by a Uniformed Tramways employee and then at no faster than 8km/h. (it was 5mph when I got my licence)

I don't remember anything about the doors being open or closed.
That may have come in since then of course.


You are correct, or to be more precise: you were correct. The law changed in November 2009 as far as I recall. Prior to that the law was that you could not pass a stationary tram at a tram stop (safety zone excepted) unless waved through or if the stop was a terminus, and the speed limit was 8KPH as you say.

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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby David_G » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:38 pm

Thanks for the update, I'm catching up, as now I'm only two years behind the times :)
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby find_bruce » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:50 pm

My current pet peeves is people entering an intersection, even though they can't drive through because the road is blocked by traffic congestion - they don't make their own journey any quicker but add to the congestion as cross traffic cannot pass.

Like most of the issues, It's probably not so much a misunderstanding as a "don't give a rats". I suspect that the misunderstanding part is just how high the Court imposed fine can be. In NSW the officer can give you a penalty notice for breaching road rule 128 of $206 or the officer can take you to Court, who can issue a fine of up to $2,200, but that will be different in other States.

I can't remember the last time I heard of anyone being booked for it though.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:36 pm

find_bruce wrote:My current pet peeves is people entering an intersection, even though they can't drive through because the road is blocked by traffic congestion - they don't make their own journey any quicker but add to the congestion as cross traffic cannot pass.

In some parts of the world they have developed this to an art form :shock:

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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby Xplora » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:44 pm

And thus the Lord spake, and he granted them the "roundabout". :roll: That's the perfect solution to that ridiculousness.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:50 pm

In some places even that does not work :lol:

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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby KenGS » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:53 pm

What's the problem? They seem to be getting by just fine using their senses and brains.
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:37 pm

il padrone wrote:In some places even that does not work :lol:

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Looks like Riddell/Racecourse Rd at school drop off time :roll:
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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby DavidS » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:22 pm

find_bruce wrote:My current pet peeves is people entering an intersection, even though they can't drive through because the road is blocked by traffic congestion - they don't make their own journey any quicker but add to the congestion as cross traffic cannot pass.

Like most of the issues, It's probably not so much a misunderstanding as a "don't give a rats". I suspect that the misunderstanding part is just how high the Court imposed fine can be. In NSW the officer can give you a penalty notice for breaching road rule 128 of $206 or the officer can take you to Court, who can issue a fine of up to $2,200, but that will be different in other States.

I can't remember the last time I heard of anyone being booked for it though.


I have seen someone booked for this, the reason they were booked is because they did it right in front of a cop on a bicycle and blocked the bike! The cop leaned over and said something to the effect of "that wasn't wise" and pulled him over to book him.

This is a huge problem in Melbourne where the intersection blocked micght have trams which can't steer around the idiotic car drivers who block intersections. I've seen hunderds of people on a few trams held up by one idiot in a car. The worst one is Swanston and Flinders Sts in the city, cars constantly block that intersection.

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Re: Common road rule misunderstandings

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:22 pm

find_bruce wrote:My current pet peeves is people entering an intersection, even though they can't drive through because the road is blocked by traffic congestion - they don't make their own journey any quicker but add to the congestion as cross traffic cannot pass....


Even at gridlock mostly the intersection will clear early enough for one or two to get through legally. But while it should not be so, I dispute that those who get part way throuhg don't "make their own journey any quicker". They will have got throuhg on the current light when otherwise they would be waiting for the next cycle. And in extreme cases you could be waiting for quite a few light changes by virtue of others feeding on from ether side of you doing the dirty deed. Much as I would like it to be otherwise, from a purely selfish view they do get an advantage.

I infer that the same habits are shared by more than just WA drivers.

Like you, I can't recall seeing anyone ever get ticketed, or even chatted to or pulled aside. As in many things, a high chance of being booked would make the difference.
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