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Bikers Chat => Riding Skills and Training => Topic started by: pcarnut on April 20, 2018, 04:02:39 PM

Title: Right of Way question
Post by: pcarnut on April 20, 2018, 04:02:39 PM
When riding/driving on the Continent I read that in town, with no roundabout present, vehicles approaching from side streets on the right, have the right of way to pull out.  This is counter to what we have in the US where a vehicle from a side street must wait until traffic has passed before merging onto a thoroughfare.  Can someone clarify how this works please and does this still apply, is it only for town and cities, below a certain speed, only certain countries or ... ?  Thanks, Roger
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: onthemayside on April 20, 2018, 07:54:12 PM
It depends on the country, for example here in the UK we go around roundabouts in a particular lane and, depending on where our exit is we sometimes have to change lanes to exit the roundabout. It seems to work, apart from the idiots who don't know how to use them. In France however there is no lane discipline on roundabouts so it is basically every man for himself.  So when I'm in France I don't pass anyone on a roundabout on the left or right the way I would at home. I just close my eyes and hope for the best.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: McCrae72 on April 20, 2018, 08:01:04 PM
*Originally Posted by pcarnut [+]
When riding/driving on the Continent I read that in town, with no roundabout present, vehicles approaching from side streets on the right, have the right of way to pull out.  This is counter to what we have in the US where a vehicle from a side street must wait until traffic has passed before merging onto a thoroughfare.  Can someone clarify how this works please and does this still apply, is it only for town and cities, below a certain speed, only certain countries or ... ?  Thanks, Roger

As far as I know vehicles merging from side streets with just a junction, no roundabout, have to give way and wait for passing traffic to pass. Certainly works that way here in the UK.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: pcarnut on April 20, 2018, 09:28:09 PM
*Originally Posted by McCrae72 [+]
As far as I know vehicles merging from side streets with just a junction, no roundabout, have to give way and wait for passing traffic to pass. Certainly works that way here in the UK.
  That's what I thought until I saw an article about having to yield to a car coming out from a side street.  Seemed pretty screwy to me, having to brake or slow down and risk getting rear-ended.  Had a driver come up from a side street on my right and get upset with me while in Heidelberg last year, was trying to figure out what the heck I did wrong.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: McCrae72 on April 20, 2018, 10:02:59 PM
*Originally Posted by pcarnut [+]
  That's what I thought until I saw an article about having to yield to a car coming out from a side street.  Seemed pretty screwy to me, having to brake or slow down and risk getting rear-ended.  Had a driver come up from a side street on my right and get upset with me while in Heidelberg last year, was trying to figure out what the heck I did wrong.

That’s news to me, seems a strange way of doing things :157:
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: unsubtle on April 20, 2018, 11:20:00 PM
*Originally Posted by pcarnut [+]
I read that in town, with no roundabout present, vehicles approaching from side streets on the right, have the right of way to pull out. 

Yes, that's correct. Sort of. It's called "priorité à droite" in France, but the same principle seems to apply to apply in towns in other Continental countries. If you see a sign which is a yellow diamond with a white border, priorité à droite does not apply and priority is as you would expect it. If the same sign has a black diagonal line over it, priorité à droite does apply. It also applies in towns unless white lines are used to indicate that one road has priority. Very often you will find an unmarked cross-roads in a town, and you should assume priorité à droite applies.

Generally I find that it is sufficient to look for white lines and forget about the diamond signs.. If present, you're fairly safe to assume normal road rules. If there are no white lines, be prepared to give way to traffic on the right.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: smorgan on April 20, 2018, 11:53:05 PM
 In German housing estates traffic turning right from a minor to major road has priority
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: McCrae72 on April 21, 2018, 09:02:21 AM
I know in Spain you aren’t allowed to cross a solid white line.......for any reason. I got caught out and warned by the police for this. In the UK solid white lines just mean no overtaking so I crossed the white line to access a layby on the opposite side of the road and the police where on me in seconds. So in Spain if you come out of a side road you have to go in the direction of travel until you can find a roundabout or the solid white lines disappear.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: NJornee on April 23, 2018, 11:07:18 AM
The rule exist in Sweden too, but it's not very likely that a car will stop if you're coming on a bike from the right. Many drivers have forgotten all about giving the right of way, especially in the bigger cities, Stockholm particularly!
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: NiK on April 23, 2018, 11:59:32 AM
*Originally Posted by onthemayside [+]
In France however there is no lane discipline on roundabouts so it is basically every man for himself.
Wrong (from a legal point of view) and right (in the real world).

This is one of the many things that you learn when you pass your license examination, then forget as soon as you have the right to do so.
Keeping a safe distance with preceding vehicle, staying focused on your driving, driving on the rightmost lane, using indicators and mirrors... Every useful safety behavior is forgotten almost immediately and the fact all of the past governments always placed their bet on speeding (very valuable thanks to automatic fining) undoubtly made all of this worse.

As for "priorité à droite", this is still the base law on the road here. However, places where it applies have become extremely rare (roundabouts, STOP signs on secondary roads crossings, red lights, etc.). This BTW makes them few places extremely dangerous (firstly because giving right to the right is a nonsense for right driving roads, then because almost no one ever expects such a road situation to occur).
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: pug27 on April 23, 2018, 12:17:35 PM
I lived in Germany for many years and as a rule of thumb is that if your on a main road you have priority. If your on minor roads, including housing estates, give way to the right.
Keep a look out for this sign if you see it on your direction of travel you have priority. If you don't give way to the right.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: Dilbert on April 23, 2018, 01:17:46 PM
Never noticed any problems when I've been on French roundabouts, or side roads, they might go round at twice the recommended speed, but everyone just gets on with it and gives way as required, but then I wasn't driving  :001:

One thing you do notice is that they do know how to use the lanes on their motorways and everyone gives way to pedestrians at all the crossings  :028:
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: NiK on April 23, 2018, 02:38:26 PM
*Originally Posted by Dilbert [+]
One thing you do notice is that they do know how to use the lanes on their motorways and everyone gives way to pedestrians at all the crossings  :028:
Ok then you didn't drive in the South ;-)
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: Will Morgan on April 23, 2018, 02:52:32 PM
*Originally Posted by NiK [+]
Ok then you didn't drive in the South ;-)

Do driver's ethos & ethics in France changes with latitude? More like Germany in the north, Italy in the south?
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: NiK on April 24, 2018, 09:42:45 AM
*Originally Posted by Will Morgan [+]
Do driver's ethos & ethics in France changes with latitude? More like Germany in the north, Italy in the south?
Yeah, pretty much like that.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: Ben_snapper on April 24, 2018, 11:49:35 AM

*Originally Posted by McCrae72 [+]
In the UK solid white lines just mean no overtaking

Technically not correct, unbroken white lines mean 'do not cross'. If it was no overtaking a motorbike couldn't pass a cyclist. the exceptions are turning in or out of a junction (like you in Spain) or to avoid an obstruction. That could be a parked car, bus pulled up or a slow moving vehicle like road sweeper or cyclists. I also cross unbroken lines to filter past queuing traffic, as long as I'm not riding into oncoming traffic.  It's a grey area and could be done for it, but i have a good argument prepared, and it wouldn't be by a bike cop.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: Dilbert on April 24, 2018, 12:44:07 PM
NiK

Lyon area, I didn't say that they drove well, or cautiously, they just got on with it and didn't get rsey about lane discipline  :028:

Having crossed the roads in Rome and Sorrento, the French are positively courteous by comparison, British drivers will try to squeeze past someone who's already halfway across at a pedestrian crossing  :008:
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: McCrae72 on April 24, 2018, 03:26:02 PM
*Originally Posted by Ben_snapper [+]
Technically not correct, unbroken white lines mean 'do not cross'. If it was no overtaking a motorbike couldn't pass a cyclist. the exceptions are turning in or out of a junction (like you in Spain) or to avoid an obstruction. That could be a parked car, bus pulled up or a slow moving vehicle like road sweeper or cyclists. I also cross unbroken lines to filter past queuing traffic, as long as I'm not riding into oncoming traffic.  It's a grey area and could be done for it, but i have a good argument prepared, and it wouldn't be by a bike cop.

I still think in this country it’s no overtaking, as there is a caveat in the rules to allow you to overtake slow moving vehicles ie tractors,cyclists. There is no rule stopping you Turning right into a driveway or side road across a solid white line here, there is in Spain, no crossing in any circumstance.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: Ben_snapper on April 24, 2018, 04:04:43 PM
*Originally Posted by McCrae72 [+]
I still think in this country it’s no overtaking, as there is a caveat in the rules to allow you to overtake slow moving vehicles ie tractors,cyclists. There is no rule stopping you Turning right into a driveway or side road across a solid white line here, there is in Spain, no crossing in any circumstance.

So apart from the wording of not crossing white lines, we're kind of agreeing with each other. This is from the highway code:

Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 26

Another example, if you're following a scooter rider and you're on your bike in a 60 limit, and he's doing 40, you can pass him as long as you don't cross the white line. if it meant no overtaking then you couldn't. But if you do it and part of your mirror, handle bars, or panniers cross the white line then you're commiting an offence.

My God I'm even boring myself. I won't get onto why I believe you can cross them while filtering past traffic. That could just tip me over the edge.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: Will Morgan on April 24, 2018, 04:11:58 PM
*Originally Posted by Ben_snapper [+]
I also cross unbroken lines to filter past queuing traffic, as long as I'm not riding into oncoming traffic.  It's a grey area and could be done for it, but i have a good argument prepared, and it wouldn't be by a bike cop.

I recently was at an IAM meeting when this question arose and was answered by a senior police rider instructor & examiner. He was emphatic that a vehicle in a queue of traffic does not count as stationary. This is the Road Traffic Act not the Highway Code which does say "stationary" and so leads to that grey area of confusion. Maybe your only defence is to plead that its the H/way Code in the Driving Standards Agency test not the RTA.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: McCrae72 on April 24, 2018, 04:22:32 PM
*Originally Posted by Ben_snapper [+]
So apart from the wording of not crossing white lines, we're kind of agreeing with each other. This is from the highway code:

Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 26

Another example, if you're following a scooter rider and you're on your bike in a 60 limit, and he's doing 40, you can pass him as long as you don't cross the white line. if it meant no overtaking then you couldn't. But if you do it and part of your mirror, handle bars, or panniers cross the white line then you're commiting an offence.

My God I'm even boring myself. I won't get onto why I believe you can cross them while filtering past traffic. That could just tip me over the edge.

Lol yeah I think we are on the same page, my only point for the Spain thing is you can’t cross the unbroken whites there, even to turn into a driveway etc 👍
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: McCrae72 on April 24, 2018, 04:25:34 PM
*Originally Posted by Will Morgan [+]
I recently was at an IAM meeting when this question arose and was answered by a senior police rider instructor & examiner. He was emphatic that a vehicle in a queue of traffic does not count as stationary. This is the Road Traffic Act not the Highway Code which does say "stationary" and so leads to that grey area of confusion. Maybe your only defence is to plead that its the H/way Code in the Driving Standards Agency test not the RTA.

I guess it’s the same classification if you are in your car with the keys you can be nicked for using your mobile or being drunk, you might not be moving but you also aren’t classed as parked and stationary.
Title: Re: Right of Way question
Post by: Slaine on July 27, 2018, 05:42:47 AM
I have lived in Germany near on 40 years, on a priority road you have the priority sign which is a yellow square, if this is not present then its give way to the right. Mainly found in towns, villages etc. very rare on the open road. Roundabouts have the same rules as in the UK, those already on the roundabout always have priority.