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Priority at a Cross Roads minor direction

I'd welcome comments on this vid.

Scenario: Major road / minor road crossroads (very slightly staggered). 

Two vehicles in the two minor roads. One turning right (1) and one going straight across (2). One is a cyclist, but that does not affect the question I am trying to tease out, which is priorities.

Which one has priority in the HWC / Law - 1 or 2, and is there an official cite on this?

(The only principle I can see applying is that a manoeuvre should not cause others to deviate from their path, which suggests (2) has priority according to the rules of the road. Initally I found it rather ambiguous as I have never considered that principle in relation to traffic crossing a major road on a minor road.)


If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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quiff | 7 months ago

Not quite the same, but I had an infuriating near miss here recently: I was waiting at the red light shown. When the lights changed, I went straight across the junction. The oncoming driver started to turn across my path, before stopping and hooting at me as I passed. It wasn't that close, but the horn irked me, so I regret to say I couldn't resist turning round and following them to ask what the horn was for. The inexplicable response I got was that I had "driven into them". The van driver behind them claimed to have seen it and said I was "in the wrong too". I genuinely wish I'd had a camera just so I could work out what they were talking about. The only explanation I can think of is that I started pre-emptively steering to avoid a collision and they thought they would have had time to make the turn (they didn't) if I hadn't.       

mattw | 7 months ago

Thank-you for the comments all.


HoarseMann | 7 months ago

There are two things to consider here. The legal obligation of the give way lines and the highway code guidance to not turn across oncoming traffic.

In both cases the cyclist in the video had priority, as they crossed their give way line first and were going ahead (so rule 180, backed up by rule H3 applies).

Driver completely at fault.

Rule H3: You should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, just as you would not turn across the path of another motor vehicle. This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them.

Rendel Harris | 7 months ago

Surely HC 180 "turning right" applies, "Wait until there is a safe gap between you and any oncoming vehicle." The cyclist is the oncoming vehicle.

ETA whoops, sorry, didn't scroll down and see that Wombat already covered this. Worth recording the original Twitter poster's comment underneath his video, clearly the driver acknowledged they were at fault.

Tom_77 | 7 months ago
1 like

I can see plenty of posts from Driving Instructors saying that if you're turning right you give way to someone turning left or going straight on. e.g.

However, as far as I can see the Highway Code makes no mention of this. Rule 172 states:


The approach to a junction may have a ‘Give Way’ sign or a triangle marked on the road. You MUST give way to traffic on the main road when emerging from a junction with broken white lines across the road.

Which would imply that whoever gets there first has priority.

bigwheeler88 | 7 months ago

Cyclist is the vulnerable road user therefore has priority, simple as. Another murderous driver coming close to claiming a life and then acting like they did nothing wrong.

theWombat | 7 months ago

This looks like it applies:  Rule 180 - Wait until there is a safe gap between you and any oncoming vehicle. Watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and other road users.

The illustration is of vehicles turning right off a major road, not turning from stationary behind "Give Way" markings.  But later it says "Take great care when turning into a main road; you will need to watch for traffic in both directions and wait for a safe gap" which implies that HC 180 does apply to the situation in the video.

The cyclist clearly had common-sense priority according on the basis of "If we were both doing what I did then there would have been no problem".  Both going straight - no collision. 

More to the point, the driver drove into the cyclist; the driver was obliged to give them priority due to being a vulnerable user; the driver clearly didn't look.

brooksby replied to theWombat | 7 months ago

They probably did look, but I'd wager that they looked for oncoming traffic to their right, then as they got out into the road I would wager that they were focused on looking for oncoming traffic to their left.

On the more general point - I would say that in the absence of anything to the right or left then since the car was being driven across the cyclist's line of travel then the cyclist would have priority. IANAL.

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