Who had right of way?

Kristielee 23 July 2008 40

Hi All,

I am wanting to find out some more information of right of way at light intersections as I cannot find enough information on the tams website to clarify my concern.

I was driving to work this morning and nearly ran a kid over at a light intersection in Queanbeyan. I was sitting at the lights ready to turn right (red box see diagram below) heading south from the Kings Highway intending to turn onto Crawford Street toward the Q Arts Centre . I had just looked up to see I HAD A GREEN LIGHT and started to go when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a young boy about 10years or so crossing the intersection in front of me (blue arrow showing his direction in diagram below). He was clearly crossing on a RED WALK signal and ran directly in front of me. The boy ran across and I almost ran him over. My heart skipped a beat. Luckily he didnt touch my car but he was sure as hell within 1/2metre from it and if he had been any faster or I had been any slower off the mark I wouldnt have been able to stop and would have run him over.

I have looked on the TAMS website and briefed through the road rule files they have there but the best I can find is:

  • Pedestrians  are not permitted to cross the road on a red walk sign
  • Cars must give way to pedestrians at traffic signals when turning left or right (this indicates to me that if he were crossing in the opposite direction where the yellow arrow is on the diagram below, then I would have had to give way to him, however, he ran across the intersection at the point where the blue arrow went.)
    Intersection

Does anyone know who is in the right of way at a light intersection here. He clearly crossed when he wasnt meant to but if we had collidided, would I have been held responsible??? Any help on this matter would be most appreciated

Thanks


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40 Responses to Who had right of way?
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miz miz 9:01 pm 24 Jul 08

Thanks guys for slip lane info – yes ACT does seem to have a lot of these. I learned to drive in NSW and my confusion about this, I now realise, coincides with my moving back to Canberra.

Perhaps clearer signage would solve the problem?

Bungle Bungle 6:06 pm 24 Jul 08

Under Australian road rules, people turning left have right of way as long as they are not breaking a line of traffic to do so (eg turning left at a T intersection will still have to give way to people going straight along that road). Your friend is misinformed – New Zealand for example purposes has right of way for right turners.

Unless they’re turning left from a slip lane.

As i said before, it depends what type of intersection you’ve got.

This from page 40 of the ACT road handbook. There’s a picture if you want to have a look.

‘If the driver is turning left using a slip lane,
the driver must give way to:
(a) any vehicle approaching from the right
or turning right at the intersection
into the road the driver is entering
(except a vehicle making a U-turn at
the intersection)’

Most left turns on main roads in the act are slip lanes. They may only be one car length long but there’s usually a broken give way line and a traffic/pedestrian island on the right.

Pesty Pesty 3:25 pm 24 Jul 08

astrojax said :

DJ’s sarcasm detector taking a while to kick in this morning..?

Motor cyclist need to be real careful overtaking vans, I had a couple of bike riders go off at me for pulling out / in and nearly hitting them. As always, I had checked my mirrors, but they were in the blind spot on each occasion.

notice you say it is your blindspot, pesty. yes, cyclists need to beware of all potential hazards, but van/truck etc drivers who ‘can’t see’ need to move very slowly into their lane and watch all the while as more road (and approaching traffic) becomes clearly visible enough to proceed to move into the traffic flow with due safety. or have i missed something?

no, you’ve missed nothing! As I said, my (and most other van drivers) blind spot, changing lanes is a tricky business. generally, I keep a good handle on what is behind me, but when roads merge etc vehicles can just appear, particularly bikes. wide angle mirrors really help. M/bike riders should keep their lights on, especially those who choose to wear all black gear.

Crikey Crikey 2:14 pm 24 Jul 08

I just adore the little sketch map.

astrojax astrojax 1:51 pm 24 Jul 08

DJ’s sarcasm detector taking a while to kick in this morning..?

Motor cyclist need to be real careful overtaking vans, I had a couple of bike riders go off at me for pulling out / in and nearly hitting them. As always, I had checked my mirrors, but they were in the blind spot on each occasion.

notice you say it is your blindspot, pesty. yes, cyclists need to beware of all potential hazards, but van/truck etc drivers who ‘can’t see’ need to move very slowly into their lane and watch all the while as more road (and approaching traffic) becomes clearly visible enough to proceed to move into the traffic flow with due safety. or have i missed something?

Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 11:40 am 24 Jul 08

I always thought left turners have the right of way, but a friend informs me the right turners do, though I’ll be blessed if I know why this is. For example, turning off Castleton Crescent into Sternberg in Gowrie, or from Hambidge Crescent into Baskerville in Chisholm.

No one else seems to know either – people slow down and wave!

Under Australian road rules, people turning left have right of way as long as they are not breaking a line of traffic to do so (eg turning left at a T intersection will still have to give way to people going straight along that road). Your friend is misinformed – New Zealand for example purposes has right of way for right turners.

Thumper Thumper 11:09 am 24 Jul 08

Roger that JB.

Cheers

johnboy johnboy 11:04 am 24 Jul 08

Mail me in future rather than hijacking another thread OK guys?

New story right up the top of the page for you.

Thumper Thumper 11:03 am 24 Jul 08

I’ve lost the comment box on that thread. It usually happens around 150 posts.

Bludger Bludger 10:53 am 24 Jul 08

Steven Irwin has now said he lied to save Carney. I couldn’t comment but I’ll try again.

johnboy johnboy 10:50 am 24 Jul 08

Feel free to start one yourself if there’s something new…. but the old one is still on the front page and open for comment.

Thumper Thumper 10:47 am 24 Jul 08

JB, want to start a new Raiders All Bar Nun thread?

Pesty Pesty 10:36 am 24 Jul 08

Thumper said :

I think it is best not to run over people. They sometimes get hurt.

While riding my motorbike I always remember one thing. That is, it doesn’t matter if i’m in the right and the other guy is wrong, I’m still going to be the one going to hospital in an ambulance.

Motor cyclist need to be real careful overtaking vans, I had a couple of bike riders go off at me for pulling out / in and nearly hitting them. As always, I had checked my mirrors, but they were in the blind spot on each occasion. I have since fitted small wide angle mirrors onto my door mirrors, these help a good deal, but still bike riders should avoid lingering alongside vans. remember, we don’t have the added benefit of looking over our shoulders in addition to mirror use.

Bludger Bludger 10:30 am 24 Jul 08

Why can’t I comment on the Raiders All Bar Nun blog??

vg vg 10:26 am 24 Jul 08

Thumper said :

I think it is best not to run over people. They sometimes get hurt.

While riding my motorbike I always remember one thing. That is, it doesn’t matter if i’m in the right and the other guy is wrong, I’m still going to be the one going to hospital in an ambulance.

That is also an important fact to remember. I have told many cyclists the same thing. They can put ‘at least he was in the right’ on your headstone. Cars will always beat a bike or motorbike

vg vg 10:22 am 24 Jul 08

In the absence of any other facts, and not knowing whether there are particular nuances in NSW law that we don’t have here, I would suggest that if you had have collected the kid, the fact they had crossed against a red signal (which in itself is against the law) and you had taken sufficient care to avoid a collision would leave you free of any liability. Not saying you aren’t telling the truth either but I say ‘in absence of other facts’ because there are 3 sides to any investigation, the sides of each person involved and the truth.

If you had have collected the kid you wouldn’t have felt any better but I can’t see how you would be prosecuted for anything if your driving manner was reasonable throughout.

As for the ‘plod’ comment, well Jeebus, we have all been called much worse. I do still find the donut references quite pathetic though. Just demonstrates a thought pattern that imagines American stereotypes apply world wide. Too much TV watching and spending time on US internet sites but when it comes to Fant that’s hardly a revelation.

We have plenty of good old Australian stereotypes for Police here regarding McDonalds, pies, phone books or how they are just ‘public servants’. Give them a shot, it will show that at least you’ve broadened your mind past your computer monitor or plasma

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:12 am 24 Jul 08

When can I be a “RiotACT Overlord”? I think I’ve got definite potential?!

For a sufficiently large donation we might be able to work something out.

Somehow JB, I don’t think I could be trusted 😉

Thumper Thumper 8:34 am 24 Jul 08

I think it is best not to run over people. They sometimes get hurt.

While riding my motorbike I always remember one thing. That is, it doesn’t matter if i’m in the right and the other guy is wrong, I’m still going to be the one going to hospital in an ambulance.

DJ DJ 6:49 am 24 Jul 08

ant said :

You can call them Plod, that just causes a few rumbles. But scatter a few doughnuts about here, and watch them come flying in from all directions, feathers sailing about, squawks, wild flailing. Gets ’em very excited.

As for the pedestrian, a motorist is meant to take all possible steps to avoid them, even when they’re where they shouldn’t be. It seems to depend on the circumstances though, as to whether the motorist faces consquences.

It’s best to get a bullbar, they are effective against cyclists, too.

Insulting and ignorant as always ant… try another tact.

JC JC 2:55 am 24 Jul 08

In regards to the orginal question, it is not a matter of who is right or wrong. Bottom line is if a vehicle, even if they are technically ‘in the right’ does somethig that causes an accident they could be found just as responsible as the person doing the wrong thing.

With the turning question this seems to be an age old question. The national road rules seem to make it pretty clear.

http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fragview/inforce/subordleg+179+2008+pt.7-TOP+0+N

This is from a NSW site, but the core rules are the same, just with some extra NSW specific rules which don’t apply to this topic.

If a car turning left has a no slip lane they have right of way and the car turning right has the right of way. if the left turning car has a slip lane then the car turning right has to give way to the car turning left. As can be seen this applies only to intersections without lights, stops or give way signs. Rule 73 is for T intersections, but is pretty much the same in this situation.

See Part 7, para 72(3) below:

“72 Giving way at an intersection (except a T-intersection or roundabout)
(1) A driver at an intersection (except a T-intersection or roundabout) without traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give way sign or give way line, must give way in accordance with this rule.

(3) If the driver is turning left (except if the driver is using a slip lane), the driver must give way to:
(a) any vehicle approaching from the right, unless a stop sign, stop line, give way sign or give way line applies to the driver of the approaching vehicle, and
(b) any pedestrian at or near the intersection on the road the driver is entering.”

Now the definition of a slip road is interesting. It can be an island or painted and can only be for a small part. So one of those triangle islands we often see makes the left turning lane into a slip lane.

http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/viewtop/inforce/subordleg+179+2008+fn+0+N

“slip lane means an area of road for vehicles turning left that is separated, at some point, from other parts of the road by a painted island or traffic island.”

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