What does it mean to give way?

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

What does it mean to give way?

Postby diggler » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:07 am

I was watching one of those stupid tv shows, Highway Patrol. A car had stopped at a stop sign. The front was over the line, presumably to see if there were any vehicles coming.

A vehicle comes from the right (a bicycle in this case, not that it is relevant). He claims to be doing 40 and on seeing the car has had to take evasive action and has ended up crashing.

If the car had been there for a few seconds, I don't think the car has done anything wrong. You have to nudge out to see if the road is clear. As far as I can tell, as long as you are stationary, it is never your fault.

The driver was fined for failing to give way but I think the car can only be at fault if he has quickly nudged out just as the other vehicle approached. It wasn't clear from the show when the car did the nudging. In my opinion, timing is critical here as to who is at fault. Is this right?
Last edited by diggler on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:15 am

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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby bychosis » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:15 am

I saw that too, pretty ordinary outcome. Driver gets a small fine, rider gets to buy a new bike and helmet. The driver still needed to give way, that means not pulling out if anyone is coming, hence the fine.

I thought it was funny the driver was saying the rider just went over in front of him and didn't hit the car. How did the frame get all bent then? Also the rider claimed he was riding along, saw the car pull out, brakes as hard as he could, shifted his weight back and still hit the car at 40km/h. Must have been going pretty fast, and he wasn't even wearing Lycra.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby Summernight » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:02 pm

I didn't see the show, but another consideration is whether the car stopped before the stop line and waited the required couple of seconds, before inching out or stopped over the line and then inched out further. I believe the Road Rules were tightened (in Victoria at least) regarding stopping over or on the line (which can attract a fine) instead of stopping before the line (which is okay).

I love those shows. 8)
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby human909 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:52 pm

diggler wrote:If the car had been there for a few seconds, I don't think the car has done anything wrong. You have to nudge out to see if the road is clear. As far as I can tell, as long as you are stationary, it is never your fault.

That is an odd thing to assume. If you pull out in front of somebody when you are required to give way and cause an accident then it is your fault. It really isn't that complicated. Sure it does come down to timing, if you are sitting stopped for an extended period of time and can prove it then you'll be ok. But that rarely occurs.

The fact remains is that if you can't see if the road is clear then you shouldn't be moving into it!

(If vision is impaired then you should get out of your vehicle to check! Sure, you can risk creeping forward VERY slowly (as in much less than walking pace) but you are still putting yourself at risk or blame should an incident occur.)
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby queequeg » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:07 pm

...and funnily enough, if you watched the guy pull away after the police fined him, he did the same thing again!
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby im_no_pro » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:10 pm

Summernight wrote: waited the required couple of seconds,


if by required you mean legally (and in the context I assume you do), can you point out where this is stated? AFAIK you are required to come to a stop, but nothing about waiting. Happy to be proven wrong (and learn something) if im wrong though.

That aside, and without having actually seen the incident at the end of the day the car has entered the intersection without giving way, so copped a fine and rightfully so for mine. If he wasnt moving, then he was obstructing traffic. Sounds like the cyclist could do with a bit more awareness though. Thats the fun part of it, one party copping a fine doesnt mean that they are responsible (partially or entirely) for the incident.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby find_bruce » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:06 pm

If you are talking about Australia (& many of those Highway patrol shows aren't)
Australian Road Rules wrote:Dictionary
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.

ie, you cannot "fail to give way" if you are stationary. In the case you describe however, as summerknight says the driver would appear not to have complied with the requirements of rule 67(2)
Australian Road Rules, rule 67 wrote:(2) The driver must stop as near as practicable to, but before reaching:
(a) the stop line, or
(b) if there is no stop line—the intersection.

im_no_pro I am not aware of any requirement to wait after stopping - doesn't mean it is isn't a good idea, just that it is not required.

What always makes me smile is the common saying that the wheels must stop moving - it just makes me think of a car sliding through the intersection with all four wheels locked up.

Leaving aside the legalities, concerns about visibility to side traffic is one of the occasions I will claim the lane & be riding close to the centre of the road
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby RonK » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:45 pm

A point many overlook, is that once stopped, another road rule comes into effect - a stationary vehicle must give way to traffic.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby il padrone » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:28 pm

human909 wrote:The fact remains is that if you can't see if the road is clear then you shouldn't be moving into it!

(If vision is impaired then you should get out of your vehicle to check! Sure, you can risk creeping forward VERY slowly (as in much less than walking pace) but you are still putting yourself at risk or blame should an incident occur.)


:shock: :shock:

Sorry, but I really think you're going over the top with precautionary expectations there. I have never seen, nor would expect, any driver to be getting out of their car to check if it's clear. A totally pointless act anyway - by the time you've got back behind the wheel the whole road scene has changed.

99% of the time it is going to be quite possible to nudge forwards enough to check, and there is an obligation on traffic to stay clear of any obstacle in the road ie. don't ride/drive in the gutter or right by parked cars when there is a bumper bar edging out.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby il padrone » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:35 pm

RonK wrote:A point many overlook, is that once stopped, another road rule comes into effect - a stationary vehicle must give way to traffic.


I have not checked the specifics of any such rule but I would think that means "a stationary vehicle must give way to traffic...... before proceeding to move". You cannot be required to give way when you are stationary. Moving traffic OTOH is required at all times to avoid a collision ie. avoid any stationary vehicles.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby zero » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:54 pm

There is at least one stop sign I can think of where I can't imagine that a car driver can possibly see without nudging forward. I have to lean forward over my bars to see properly.

However if you nudge forward with a cyclist 20m away, that cyclist will not be able to tell the difference between you nudging forward, and you beginning to fail to give way. Falling off in avoidance is a bit of a sign that the rider didn't cover their brakes, and/or was a bit prone to "right of way fallacy" as well. I'd say that the cyclist was probably close enough to be plainly visible without nudging forward.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:30 pm

zero wrote:...to tell the difference between you nudging forward, and you beginning to fail to give way.

Watch the gap between the top of the front tyre and the wheel arch but don't trust 'em anyway...

Giving way is simple.
A/ Do nothing that requires other road users granted priority to take any action to avoid hitting you.
B/ Goto A.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby Summernight » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:38 am

im_no_pro wrote:
Summernight wrote: waited the required couple of seconds,


if by required you mean legally (and in the context I assume you do), can you point out where this is stated? AFAIK you are required to come to a stop, but nothing about waiting. Happy to be proven wrong (and learn something) if im wrong though.


No legal context to what I said (and I was more referring to stop signs than give way), I was just taught that by the driving instructor. So don't take it to heart. All the rules say is that a driver "must stop and give way" for stop sign related intersections. Not very handy to work out what exactly a 'stop' is.

How does one (including the police officer) define whether the vehicle has stopped or not? If 'the wheels have stopped turning' is the definition of stop - for how long do they have to stop turning to be a stop? A fraction of a second?

Officer, I totally paused... :roll:

There are a few back streets I drive down near my place that have cars parked almost right up to the intersection - making it impossible to see around. The only way to do it is to do the required stop (it is a stop sign), look both ways and then inch very slowly to try and see more road. My car is still not an obstruction in the intersection at that point as the nose of my car hasn't even crossed the line of parked cars, but I have crossed the line (after stopping).
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby diggler » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:24 pm

As fas as I can tell you must come to a complete stop before the line, then you can inch very slowly to see if the coast is clear.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby citywomble » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:00 pm

Simple really, stop lines become 'give way' lines as soon as the vehicle has come to a stop.

Stopping is just that, a cessation of motion which only has to be instantaneous. Any reference to time, such is two seconds, is only advice to ensure that even the most inattentive plod would not fail to observe the stopping.
(Just like my driving instructor told me to move my head when looking in the mirror so that the test examiner could see I was actually looking in the mirror).
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby Aushiker » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:09 pm

stop, in relation to a vehicle, means to stop the vehicle and permit it to remain stationary, except for the purpose of avoiding conflict with other traffic or of complying with the provisions of any law;


Source: WA Road Traffic Code 2000

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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby London Boy » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:15 pm

il padrone wrote:
RonK wrote:A point many overlook, is that once stopped, another road rule comes into effect - a stationary vehicle must give way to traffic.


I have not checked the specifics of any such rule but I would think that means "a stationary vehicle must give way to traffic...... before proceeding to move". You cannot be required to give way when you are stationary.

I think Mr Bruce mentioned the Australian rule a couple of posts ago. I've not checked, but I imagine the various states and territories have something similar, and even if they don't that is how the courts would interpret it. If you're stopped, you must wait until it is safe to move, i.e. give way to anything that is already moving.
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Re: What does it mean to give way?

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:13 am

RonK wrote:A point many overlook, is that once stopped, another road rule comes into effect - a stationary vehicle must give way to traffic.


If it was in NSW - the bike rider could have been done with riding furiously perhaps.

I think when you are coming up to a round about junction, you've got to be prepared for cars to do this kind of thing. Self preservation.
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