Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:07 pm

Summernight wrote:The only problem with those roads is that the bike symbol and painted section are very intermittent.

That is because it is not a bike lane. It is a simple symbol to indicate space. However it is pleasing that many motorists do think it indicates some sort of bike lane and generally stay away from the left side of the lane.

Summernight wrote:Yes, a car can possibly safely pass in the same lane, but the same issue about the driver making sure they are a safe distance away still applies. And what usually happens is that where there isn't the painted line or sign the car will drift back over left.


Not my experience and like I said, I commute regularly in one such wide kerbside lane.... on an uphill section to boot. Certainly the idea of keeping a safe distance is important.

I don't want to get side-tracked into the merits or otherwise of wider kerbside lanes. My point was that there are all sorts of combinations of roads and lane widths. Some demand a lane-change to pass, due to restricted space; some do not. It is not a blanket "yes all overtaking motorists must make a full lane change" nor "no rule applies requiring a lane change". It all depends on the situation, but safety when overtaking is paramount as a principle in our road rules. Safety is much more than just "I did not collide with you".
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by BNA » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:47 pm

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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby exadios » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:47 pm

Xplora wrote:Multilane, they can't occupy the lane at the same time as you for overtakes. Single lane, they have to (by definition).

Practically, you get issues with both of these, because safe distances are not the priority for some drivers. Some will avoid the double line cross and shave the cyclist (dumbest idea ever, obey an irrelevant law and risk a life instead!) and some will not bother to change lanes fully. Some will refuse to wait and shave you trying to avoid being on the wrong side of the road (second dumbest idea, risk your life and the cyclist for 5 seconds of the trip).

The Parliamentary questions are telling. There is an acknowledgement that the current laws are simply not policed in a manner that is meaningful for cyclists.

exadios, you are right - he said, she said gets you nowhere with police, HOWEVER that is where your video footage becomes useful. It is quite easy to see where a dangerous pass has been made; you don't need to calibrate because your brain does it for you. You can tell if someone is 1.5 or 2m away, and when they are only a foot. Reference points in the video allow for this. Have a look at Aushiker's videos, and have a guess at how far away objects are from the side of the road. You will have a great idea of how far it is once the law changes, because most cars are going to provide that gap.


On the contrary. I did look at some videos - can't remember whose. IMO the passes were at greater than 1.5m. Your job is to prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby exadios » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:50 pm

il padrone wrote:
Xplora wrote:exadios, you are right - he said, she said gets you nowhere with police, HOWEVER that is where your video footage becomes useful. It is quite easy to see where a dangerous pass has been made; you don't need to calibrate because your brain does it for you. You can tell if someone is 1.5 or 2m away, and when they are only a foot. Reference points in the video allow for this. Have a look at Aushiker's videos, and have a guess at how far away objects are from the side of the road. You will have a great idea of how far it is once the law changes, because most cars are going to provide that gap.


So are you saying that enforcement of this rule is going to require all cyclists who care about it to ride with video cameras ???

I for one have no desire to do such a thing.


That's one problem with the proposed law. One of the others is that the driver of the vehicle has no device to measure the 1.5m and, so, the driver cannot reasonable comply with the law. This is why I think we need to use the tools visible to all - the lane markings. That is, in order to pass, a vehicle should be required to change lanes.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:03 pm

exadios wrote: the lane markings. That is, in order to pass, a vehicle should be required to change lanes.

And what do vehicles do if there are no lane markings?

I was under the distinct impression that the 1.5 rule was mainly for unmarked roads?
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby exadios » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:26 pm

Xplora wrote:
exadios wrote: the lane markings. That is, in order to pass, a vehicle should be required to change lanes.

And what do vehicles do if there are no lane markings?

I was under the distinct impression that the 1.5 rule was mainly for unmarked roads?


That is not my understanding. Presumably you want a higher standard on those roads with no markings than on the roads with lanes.

In WA outside the metroplex and the cities and towns the only roads with no lane markings are single lane roads which, in order to pass one, or both, are on the shoulder. Within the municiplalities the roads without markings are the residential streets which are the safest simply because of the very low traffic volumes. So, it seems to me that a 1.5m limit for those situations where there is no problem.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby InTheWoods » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:51 pm

exadios wrote:One of the others is that the driver of the vehicle has no device to measure the 1.5m and, so, the driver cannot reasonable comply with the law. This is why I think we need to use the tools visible to all - the lane markings. That is, in order to pass, a vehicle should be required to change lanes.


I used to think that, but as somebody else on here (was in Womble?) pointed out, there are lots of rules with distances specified, are they all unreasonable as well? In qld, rules with distances include:

127, 138, 150, 151, 153, 158, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 208, 209, 213, 295, 303

Although I do agree re having to change lanes rather than share.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby exadios » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:42 pm

InTheWoods wrote:
I used to think that, but as somebody else on here (was in Womble?) pointed out, there are lots of rules with distances specified, are they all unreasonable as well? In qld, rules with distances include:

127, 138, 150, 151, 153, 158, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 208, 209, 213, 295, 303

Although I do agree re having to change lanes rather than share.


I do not understand. What do the numbers refer to?
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:12 pm

exadios wrote:
InTheWoods wrote:
I used to think that, but as somebody else on here (was in Womble?) pointed out, there are lots of rules with distances specified, are they all unreasonable as well? In qld, rules with distances include:

127, 138, 150, 151, 153, 158, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 208, 209, 213, 295, 303

Although I do agree re having to change lanes rather than share.


I do not understand. What do the numbers refer to?

Road Rules, like the current Rule 144 we're wanting to change.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby exadios » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:52 am

InTheWoods wrote:
exadios wrote:One of the others is that the driver of the vehicle has no device to measure the 1.5m and, so, the driver cannot reasonable comply with the law. This is why I think we need to use the tools visible to all - the lane markings. That is, in order to pass, a vehicle should be required to change lanes.


I used to think that, but as somebody else on here (was in Womble?) pointed out, there are lots of rules with distances specified, are they all unreasonable as well? In qld, rules with distances include:

127, 138, 150, 151, 153, 158, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 208, 209, 213, 295, 303

Although I do agree re having to change lanes rather than share.


Yes, they are unreasonable since they require a subject estimation. In addition they probably unenforcable.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:06 am

Xplora wrote:
exadios wrote: the lane markings. That is, in order to pass, a vehicle should be required to change lanes.

And what do vehicles do if there are no lane markings?

I was under the distinct impression that the 1.5 rule was mainly for unmarked roads?


I'm not sure if by 'unmarked roads' you mean roads with no lane lines at all, or roads that just have a centre-line (ie. one lane each way). If the former, I'd agree with you. However these are often the narrowest of country roads (or residential streets) and they usually demand much slower safer driving when overtaking as often there is not even room enough for a 60kmh 1.5m pass in safety.

If it is the latter the correct safe overtaking procedure is to move completely into the opposite (oncoming) lane when clear. Simple really.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:43 am

Pad, you are right however in practice it isn't happening. So we return to the original thesis, the current law is insufficient to meet the definition of safe for a cyclist. If you could rely on common sense from all road users then we would not need the road rules... :lol:
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Summernight » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:51 am

William St in Melbourne's CBD is two lanes from Little Flinders to La Trobe but only paints the lines at intersections otherwise it looks like one big lane with a bicycle lane tucked on the left. In non-peak hour times the bicycle lane (and about 1/3rd of the left vehicle lane) is covered by parked cars but in peak there is space for the bicycle lane and two lines of vehicles (except where they decide to have the bicycle lane disappear).
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:59 am

Xplora wrote:Pad, you are right however in practice it isn't happening. So we return to the original thesis....

.....the current law enforcement is insufficient to meet the definition of safe for a cyclist.

So, enforce the law more rigorously. I have seen Police cars on open country roads doing a 'half-lane pass'. There is some education needed.

From a personal point of view, on single lane country roads (or any road that merits it) I ride wide where necessary for my safety, to encourage drivers to overtake more correctly. Same on many urban roads, single lane or multi-lane. In most cases following the left wheel track is sufficient, on sweeping left corners or where road space is limited for some reason I will ride wider still, even on open roads. More cyclists need to do this to develop the expectation in motorists minds that this is a cyclist's place, not cringe on the left road-edge.


BTW riding with an effective rear-view mirror enables me to monitor traffic and choose when it is appropriate and/or required to move wider to encourage full-lane overtaking.
Last edited by il padrone on Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:10 am

Summernight wrote:William St in Melbourne's CBD is two lanes from Little Flinders to La Trobe but only paints the lines at intersections otherwise it looks like one big lane with a bicycle lane tucked on the left. In non-peak hour times the bicycle lane (and about 1/3rd of the left vehicle lane) is covered by parked cars but in peak there is space for the bicycle lane and two lines of vehicles (except where they decide to have the bicycle lane disappear).


If there are no lanes painted but there is room for several lines of traffic they still are required to behave as if lanes existed:

144 Keeping a safe distance when overtaking
A driver overtaking a vehicle *—
(a) must pass the vehicle at a sufficient distanceto avoid a collision with the vehicle orobstructing the path of the vehicle; and
(b) must not return to the marked lane or line of traffic where the vehicle is travelling until the driver is a sufficient distance past the vehicle to avoid a collision with the vehicleor obstructing the path of the vehicle.



*
overtake, for a driver, means the action of—
(a) approaching from behind another driver travelling in the same marked lane or line of traffic; and
(b) moving into an adjacent marked lane or part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic (whether or not the lane or part of the road is for drivers travelling in the same direction); and
(c) passing the other driver while travelling
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:41 am

Pad, do you see a distinct gap in your comments? The police have interpreted 144a to mean "no contact, no crime". Is that enough for you? Because everything you have said doesn't address this at all. For me, "no contact" is not safe; there is no room for error. The Pollett case showed that even if there IS contact, resulting in DEATH, that our legal system doesn't set a high enough standard for passing cyclists because a bicycle IS DIFFERENT on the road.

I expect us to be treated as vehicles, and given the appropriate respect a human deserves, but I don't pretend that I'm capable of equalling the performance of a car, for mass or acceleration or speed, in a great many situations. I talk with great gusto about how good I am, but I'm only good up to about 2/3rds of the speed limit, then I fade away a bit ;)

Right now, the minimum passing distance is 1mm. If you are comfortable with people close shaving you, then I don't think this is an appropriate discussion to be involved in, because you don't represent an even vaguely normative view. Cyclists need protection at law, even if we can't erect an invisible field around us. The law currently doesn't tell people they can't be scumbags; common sense, courtesy and decency must be enshrined in law because bad behaviour must be punished. Sometimes it will happen. You can't stop that. But you CAN manage it, through appropriate legal channels. You can argue a point on the road by referring to appropriate legal channels.

Can you see the issue, Pad? I, like you, manage despite it (I'd be dead right now if I didn't) but that's hardly fair state of play.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:55 am

To put it as simply as I can - I don't see a 1.5m rule (whatever it consists of and wherever it is applied) being investigated, prosecuted, or punished any more stringently than the rules already in force. Thus I see it as a bit of an irrelevancy. It is something to peg your coat on as an advocate, but I don't see it changing things very much.

You are correct that cyclists should be regarded somewhat differently in the road rules, along with pedestrians, as vulnerable road users. I very much support this concept. I'm not a legal expert so I don't have any answer for you as to exactly how. Whatever is done must be clearly enforcable and accepted as "the rules" by Police and the courts. If this can happen for a 1.5m rule then I guess it would be a good thing. It does not address other collision risks and issues (eg doorings, left-hooks, side-street entries) though.

I had a police officer (husband of a colleague and a supposed cyclist, so arguing the point was a bit awkward) tell me that cyclists who get hit by a car door are at fault - they are overtaking a vehicle and should avoid the door !!! :roll: The guy was working in traffic branch in the Melbourne CBD by the way :shock: How do you see this sort of attitude going when investigating a 1.5m offence ??
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby Xplora » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:40 pm

I think the big change is due to the fact that we say "you can't be that close to a vulnerable road user at speed" which isn't the case right now. It takes SFA space and makes it a decent space. This has to be a good thing, because it makes a dangerous action an offence... there is none right now, which boggles the mind.

The comment about the dooring brings into light a second change (and I hope one that SCA takes up once it gets the 1.5 rule over the line); the right of cyclists to assert a position, to the detriment of other road users. Here is the thing... bikes don't door people. Bikes don't shatter glass on the roadside. Bikes don't even create potholes. I think we'd be best off removing the "as far right as practicable" rule, because it creates a dangerous doublethink for novices - I want to be near the left, but I suffer the most risk on the left. I would agree that catastrophy is less likely on the left, but there is about 9 levels of misery that is more likely on the left.

What do you think Womble? Removal of the keep left as practicable? Once you ditch that, and get the 1.5m passing rule, you've got genuine position on the road - nothing is safer than that.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby high_tea » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:28 pm

il padrone wrote:
Xplora wrote:Pad, you are right however in practice it isn't happening. So we return to the original thesis....

.....the current law enforcement is insufficient to meet the definition of safe for a cyclist.

So, enforce the law more rigorously. I have seen Police cars on open country roads doing a 'half-lane pass'. There is some education needed.

Unless this was on a multi-lane road, they weren't breaking any laws.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:37 pm

I'm no lawyer but I'm not so sure about that in view of part (c) of the Road Rules definition for overtake (which got snipped when I posted it):

overtake, for a driver, means the action of—
(a) approaching from behind another driver travelling in the same marked lane or line of traffic; and
(b) moving into an adjacent marked lane or part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic (whether or not the lane or part of the road is for drivers travelling in the same direction); and
(c) passing the other driver while travelling in the adjacent marked lane or line of traffic;


Every single lane two-way road road has an adjacent marked lane - the oncoming lane.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:45 pm

Xplora wrote:Removal of the keep left as practicable? Once you ditch that, and get the 1.5m passing rule, you've got genuine position on the road - nothing is safer than that.


No.... the broken glass, the doors and the potholes.... even the rider weaving out into the right lane, are all part of "impracticable". Again it is education that is needed, for ALL road users - cyclists to learn safest riding techniques and roadcraft, and motorists to learn that the judgement of practicable or impracticable is up to the cyclist concerned.

But you could just remove the rule wording. Most motorists won't give a damn, they'll still horn you. It'll make wrong-way cycling legal though.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby high_tea » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:14 pm

il padrone wrote:I'm no lawyer but I'm not so sure about that in view of part (c) of the Road Rules definition for overtake (which got snipped when I posted it):

overtake, for a driver, means the action of—
(a) approaching from behind another driver travelling in the same marked lane or line of traffic; and
(b) moving into an adjacent marked lane or part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic (whether or not the lane or part of the road is for drivers travelling in the same direction); and
(c) passing the other driver while travelling in the adjacent marked lane or line of traffic;


Every single lane two-way road road has an adjacent marked lane - the oncoming lane.


Not necessarily - see the definition of "marked lane" and related matters such as "vehicles".
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby InTheWoods » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:36 pm

Here's Delaware's version:

The driver of a motor vehicle, when approaching a bicyclist traveling in the same direction, shall ensure the safety and protection of the bicyclist by:
a. Proceeding with caution and yielding the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the bicyclist, if possible, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a roadway having at least 4 lanes with not less than 2 lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or,
b. Proceeding with caution and reducing the speed of the vehicle to a safe speed and leaving a reasonable and prudent distance by providing a minimum of 3 feet of clearance while passing such bicyclist, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.


The wording is confusing but I presume that part a means change into a different lane rather than drive adjacent to the cyclist in the same lane.

And Nevada:
2. When overtaking or passing a bicycle or electric bicycle proceeding in the same direction, the driver of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care and:
(a) If there is more than one lane for traffic proceeding in the same direction, move the vehicle to the lane to the immediate left, if the lane is available and moving into the lane is reasonably safe;
or
(b) If there is only one lane for traffic proceeding in the same direction, pass to the left of the bicycle or electric bicycle at a safe distance, which must be not less than 3 feet between any portion of the vehicle and the bicycle or electric bicycle, and shall not move again to the right side of the highway until the vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle or electric bicycle.

5. The driver of a motor vehicle shall:
(a) Exercise due care to avoid a collision with a person riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle; and
(b) Give an audible warning with the horn of the vehicle if appropriate and when necessary to avoid such a collision.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby exadios » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:48 pm

il padrone wrote:
Xplora wrote:Pad, you are right however in practice it isn't happening. So we return to the original thesis....

.....the current law enforcement is insufficient to meet the definition of safe for a cyclist.

So, enforce the law more rigorously. I have seen Police cars on open country roads doing a 'half-lane pass'. There is some education needed.

From a personal point of view, on single lane country roads (or any road that merits it) I ride wide where necessary for my safety, to encourage drivers to overtake more correctly. Same on many urban roads, single lane or multi-lane. In most cases following the left wheel track is sufficient, on sweeping left corners or where road space is limited for some reason I will ride wider still, even on open roads. More cyclists need to do this to develop the expectation in motorists minds that this is a cyclist's place, not cringe on the left road-edge.


BTW riding with an effective rear-view mirror enables me to monitor traffic and choose when it is appropriate and/or required to move wider to encourage full-lane overtaking.


That happened to me! I was passed by a police vehicle on a rural highway with something less than a half lane pass. Even worse there was a car comming the other way (this was a two lane road) which had to run off the road onto the shoulder at high speed. I thought that there was going to be a major crash and I was going to be covered in blood and guts (and various other material best not mentioned on a family board).
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby exadios » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:55 pm

il padrone wrote:To put it as simply as I can - I don't see a 1.5m rule (whatever it consists of and wherever it is applied) being investigated, prosecuted, or punished any more stringently than the rules already in force. Thus I see it as a bit of an irrelevancy. It is something to peg your coat on as an advocate, but I don't see it changing things very much.

You are correct that cyclists should be regarded somewhat differently in the road rules, along with pedestrians, as vulnerable road users. I very much support this concept. I'm not a legal expert so I don't have any answer for you as to exactly how. Whatever is done must be clearly enforcable and accepted as "the rules" by Police and the courts. If this can happen for a 1.5m rule then I guess it would be a good thing. It does not address other collision risks and issues (eg doorings, left-hooks, side-street entries) though.

I had a police officer (husband of a colleague and a supposed cyclist, so arguing the point was a bit awkward) tell me that cyclists who get hit by a car door are at fault - they are overtaking a vehicle and should avoid the door !!! :roll: The guy was working in traffic branch in the Melbourne CBD by the way :shock: How do you see this sort of attitude going when investigating a 1.5m offence ??


One possibility would to make would be to make striking a cyclist a strict liability crime. That is to insert into the Road Code a clause that stated that striking a cyclist was sufficient evidence to prove a charge Careless / Reckless Driving Causing Injury / Death. The problem with this is that strict liability in the criminal code is the law of tyrants.
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Re: Where will the 1.5m passing distance be used?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:22 pm

high_tea wrote:
il padrone wrote:I'm no lawyer but I'm not so sure about that in view of part (c) of the Road Rules definition for overtake (which got snipped when I posted it):

overtake, for a driver, means the action of—
(a) approaching from behind another driver travelling in the same marked lane or line of traffic; and
(b) moving into an adjacent marked lane or part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic (whether or not the lane or part of the road is for drivers travelling in the same direction); and
(c) passing the other driver while travelling in the adjacent marked lane or line of traffic;


Every single lane two-way road road has an adjacent marked lane - the oncoming lane.


Not necessarily - see the definition of "marked lane" and related matters such as "vehicles".


I guess I must be thick but I don't see your point here. I've looked at the definitions, no surprises there :?
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