/ Road priority query

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MG - on 19 Sep 2016
If turning right at a busy intersection without a filter, it is normal to have two or three cars waiting past the stop line for a gap, or for the lights to change, before completing a turn (possibly in the yellow hatched area, as allowed by the HWC). Sometimes, due to congestion, even after the lights change it is not possible to turn right which can result in cars stranded in the middle of a junction or stopped on a bit where pedestrians cross. If the next phase is a green man, what is the recommended course of action for the cars?

a) Stay stranded, perhaps forcing pedestrians to walk around the car
b) Push on ignoring pedestrians
c) Something else

On my walk to work b) seems to preferred option quite often, with predictable altercations and occasional near misses but a) isnt very good either and I can't think of a suitable c). Is there a bit of a flaw here in the rules of road?
jkarran - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

Sounds more like a bit of a flaw in the local road layout and light sequencing.
jk
1
tspoon1981 on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

I was always told it is an offence to enter a yellow box, unless the exit is clear. http://yellowboxjunction.co.uk/Yellow-Box-Junction-What-the-Law-says.htm

It looks like one car may possibly roll into the yellow box, any additional cars would indeed be committing an offence.

2
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to tspoon1981:

From your link "However, you may enter the box and wait when you want to turn right, and are only stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic, or by other vehicles waiting to turn right."
tspoon1981 on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

Implying a single vehicle. Any additional vehicle in the box does not have a clear exit, so should not enter. Your example uses multiple vehicles.
3
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to jkarran:

Possibly (it is a complex, busy junction at rush hour) but the situation will potentially arise whatever the sequencing in some circumstances.
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to tspoon1981:
No it doesn't imply a single vehicle, it states the opposite in fact. "...other vehicleS waiting to turn right"
Post edited at 09:25
tspoon1981 on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

Fair enough, I must have glossed over that part. As said, I was always told not to enter unless the exit is clear Rule 174: Enter a box junction only if your exit road is clear. The additional "...other vehicles waiting to turn right" does confuse matters, especially given the example above.

robhorton - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

The other problem is that drivers can't really be expected to check the state of signals for pedestrians.

I would suggest b) but giving way to any pedestrians who are actually on the crossing (ie treat it like a zebra crossing).
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to robhorton:

> The other problem is that drivers can't really be expected to check the state of signals for pedestrians.

They can be expected not to manoeuvre once the lights are against them though.

MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to robhorton:

> The other problem is that drivers can't really be expected to check the state of signals for pedestrians.

Apparently they can. I failed a driving test many years ago for not doing so in fact, which is partly why I am rather aware of the problem I outlined - the tester didn't offer a solution.
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to robhorton:

> I would suggest b) but giving way to any pedestrians who are actually on the crossing (ie treat it like a zebra crossing).

Probably best. I think something explicit about this in the HWC might be beneficial.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:
My take:
a. The red line applies to crossing the stop line. Once you are past the stop line you aren't controlled by the red light.

b. You still have to apply normal rules and common sense with regard to pedestrians and other cars. So if you can't move on safely then stop.

Post edited at 10:36
Luke90 on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to KevinD:
> They can be expected not to manoeuvre once the lights are against them though.

If there's a queue of cars waiting to turn right, and hence blocking the junction, refusing to move once the lights are against them isn't going to help anybody.


Luke90 on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

To my mind, the answer is some combination of:

a) The regular commuters on this route will know about the issues at this junction and should probably be able to make some effort to avoid blocking the pedestrian crossing itself by leaving a gap.
b) If unfamiliar with the junction and/or inadvertently blocking the crossing anyway, watch the pedestrians and apply common sense. If they seem happy to walk around you, sit still and let them. If they won't/can't and you have space, move forwards or backwards as appropriate to get out of the way.
c) If stuck in the yellow box itself, and blocking crossing traffic, that traffic is probably going to allow you to get out of the way out of simple self-interest. Not sure what the highway code would officially suggest but obviously you're going to have to watch out for pedestrians and give way to them in preference to running them over. If you're near enough to the edge of the yellow box to not be blocking traffic, and didn't get chance to cross before other traffic or pedestrians started moving, probably prudent to wait for your next green light.
Martin W on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:
> > I would suggest b) but giving way to any pedestrians who are actually on the crossing (ie treat it like a zebra crossing).

> Probably best. I think something explicit about this in the HWC might be beneficial.

Something explicit like rule 170, you mean?

Rule 170

Take extra care at junctions. You should...watch out for pedestrians crossing a road into which you are turning. If they have started to cross they have priority, so give way


https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/using-the-road-159-to-203
Post edited at 11:36
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin W:

Hmm. Good point.
Michael Hood - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin W: The problem with rule 170 (pedestrians have priority) is that in arguments between cars and people, the cars tend to win and there's also not much satisfaction in pointing rule 170 out from a hospital bed.

Co1in H - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

"Do not enter box unless exit is clear" is what I was taught when I learned to drive 40 years ago. Seems eminently sensible to me.
3
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Co1in H:

Covered above - you are forgetting the exception that it is allowed (expected in fact) for turning right.
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Michael Hood:

You could say that about pretty much any rule though! There is at least something there, although suspect 170 didn't really have complex junctions in mind - more turning in to a side street or similar.
Chris Harris - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:
It's pretty simple. You can enter the junction and stop temporarily while other cars in front/coming the other way complete their manoeuvres providing that once they have done so, there is still going to be room for you to exit the junction.

Following a slow moving line of traffic into a junction with snarled up exits, and then getting all surprised when the lights change & you're sat in the middle of the junction with nowhere to go is just selfish & thoughtless driving.
Post edited at 13:24
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Chris Harris:
It's not really that simply in practice. There are all sorts of reasons why you might enter the junction reasonably expecting the exit to clear quickly but then find it doesn't. Although clearly there are a fair number of overaly pushy types too.
Post edited at 13:40
MonkeyPuzzle - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Chris Harris:

> Following a slow moving line of traffic into a junction with snarled up exits, and then getting all surprised when the lights change & you're sat in the middle of the junction with nowhere to go is just selfish & thoughtless driving.

Or "Bristol", as we call it.
Timmd on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Chris Harris:
> It's pretty simple. You can enter the junction and stop temporarily while other cars in front/coming the other way complete their manoeuvres providing that once they have done so, there is still going to be room for you to exit the junction.

> Following a slow moving line of traffic into a junction with snarled up exits, and then getting all surprised when the lights change & you're sat in the middle of the junction with nowhere to go is just selfish & thoughtless driving.

Yes, it seems to be about looking at what's happening in the traffic other than inside the box junction you're wanting to move into, and deciding whether you'll be able to move out of it fairly speedily.

With how people sometimes drive while still waking up in the morning - I don't suppose it's too surprising that people will follow along in slow moving traffic and then be surprised. It's perhaps understandable as well as something which shouldn't happen.
Post edited at 14:05
john arran - on 19 Sep 2016
Some seem to be getting confused between the yellow box exit being clear and the yellow box itself being clear. It can be entirely reasonable for two or more cars to wait in the box for oncoming traffic to pass before all leaving via an exit that was clear all along. What isn't usually reasonable is passing the white line into the junction only to stop in a pedestrian crossing zone and end up blocking it when the lights change. These zones should really be treated as having 'keep'clear' markings on them.
birdie num num - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

Something else
Chris Harris - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

> It's not really that simply in practice. There are all sorts of reasons why you might enter the junction reasonably expecting the exit to clear quickly but then find it doesn't.

Yes, looking ahead & evaluating whether or not the traffic is actually moving is so hard, isn't it?
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MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Chris Harris:

Yes, it can be. Hence the rules about being lowed to.enter the yellow area.

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