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re Highway code (UK) allowing drivers out from side roads

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whatknot

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Hi all

I read a post on facebook where a driver complained about nearly being hit from behind as they had slowed down a little to allow a car out from a school, and the vehicle behind came right up behind and hooted the car which slowed

In the following heap of replies a couple said it was against the highway code to allow cars out and it could be considered dangerous driving

Now its a fair time since I read the highway code but couldn't think of an instance where letting someone out could be considered dangerous driving in the normal course of events

I flicked through the online highway code and cannot find anything on the subject of allowing another vehicle out, all I can find is wording to the opposite, ie be courteous to other drivers etc

As to who would be at fault, as far as I have ever known, if a vehicle rear ends another, the driver of the vehicle behind is *always* at fault as they should allow stopping room regardless of the conditions

And the horn should only be used to warn others of danger, not to show your annoyance of anothers driving

Anyone come across anything in the highway code to support the assertion that a driver should not let another vehicle out?
 

sammy.se

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If the side road has a give way, the side road needs to wait. The driver of the main road needs to drive safely to the road conditions, so if for example, the main road was 40mph, and s/he slows to 20mph, that is not appropriate, but... the driver behind will still be at fault for rear ending - that is a separate subject.

Basically, courtesy is fine, but you still have to drive appropriately. The driver behind was either too impatient/lacks courtesy, or, the driver slowing down did so in an inappropriate manner.

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Rorschach

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Even if it were in the highway code, that doesn't make it law. The HC is an advisory guide for the most part.

That being said, slowing down significantly to let someone out of a side road is a silly thing to do and could very possibly cause an accident.
 

Woody2Shoes

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I've noticed a significant increase in the number of people "giving way" to people joining a main carriageway who are waiting to join from a sideroad with give way markings. I understand that they think they're being helpful, but quite often they're creating danger as the road users behind them may think they're about to turn off the main carriageway and start to overtake them (creating a risk of collision with the person coming in off the side road).

Statistically, most accidents at junctions happen when a right-turn is being made onto a main carriageway from a sideroad.

I'd MUCH rather people didn't do this - regardless of what the HC says. I tend to avoid eye contact in these situations, staring in the other direction, which helps.

To me this is a bit like someone flashing their headlights at you - there's no way to be sure what they actually mean - and more importantly they can't see what you can (or can't) see.

I think the only scenario where is possibly fair enough is where the traffic on both main and side roads is at a near standstill and those on the sideroad may never otherwise get a look-in - although there's still some potential additional danger to (motor) cyclists.
 

Sideways

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Driver behind totally at fault if were to rear end the car in front. There's no excuse as you must allow at all times for the person in front to be forced to make an emergency stop regardless of whether you can see a hazard or not.

I'll be blunt though. people trying to be courteous have come to irritate me in the last couple of years since I stopped commuting long distance to work. On my local suburban journeys I see too many instances of drivers who clearly lack experience causing confusion and delay. Courtesy can help but the piority is to keep traffic moving freely and safely.

I was once advised - righly or wrongly - that the moment you indicate to a car that it's safe to pull out (like in the example above - from a side road to turn right), you could be jointly liable if an accident is caused because of your actions (the same example - not noticing that someone else is overtaking what they see only as your stationary car).

If you have the priority, get on and use it.
If you don't, you have to wait until it's safe. Tough !

< end rant ... :) >
 

whatknot

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Okay just to clarify

What I am talking about is slowing "slightly" to allow time for a vehicle to enter the flow of traffic and without braking hard or causing a problem to others, certainly not braking hard or slowing considerably

I didn't mention flashing lights but that should only ever be used to let someone else know you are there, not to give any other signal (although the majority of drivers appear to ignore that regarding lights and horns)

I should also mention that where I live in Cornwall with the heavy tourist influx in the summer months, you could be sat there for a long time if locals didn't let each other out of certain junctions that function perfectly well at other times of the year but in the summer its a different story, in most cases down here its when the traffic is heavy but not fast and usually when turning right say allowing a few vehicles to exit before you turn yourself but the case in point was more to do with the flow of traffic at normal speed limits

But so far no one has come up with anything from the highway code or law that backs up the assertion that slowing slightly to allow another vehicle to join the flow of traffic is in any way illegal or advised against by the authorities

As a sub point, I have ticked the box to receive notifications but am not receiving them, unless they are very delayed and they are yet to arrive, any idea why I may not be receiving them?
 
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I think it entirely depends on the situation.

The situation you describe (outside a school) the cars should be driving relatively slowly anyway, so slowing down a tad more to let someone out should be no big deal. The fact that the person behind almost bumped into them shows that they clearly weren't paying attention, even in a high risk area (outside a school where kids could be running out).

As for giving way to someone, it is still the responsibility of the person coming out to make sure it is absolutely safe to do so.

While we're on the subject of driving. One of my pet peeves lately is people who are exiting right at a roundabout (one designated with only road markings), and instead of going around, ...simply turning right sharply. Not even partially driving over the markings, but literally doing a right turn as though they were going to wrong way around the roundabout! and most of the time not even indicating!
 

ScaredyCat

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The highway code uses very specific words to indicate things. MUST / MUST NOT are the key words to look for - they have actual laws backing them up. Those are the laws that, if you end up in court, will assist the prosecution. SHOULD/ SHOULD NOT are used as indicators and suggestions but can still be used to asses your driving.

Anyone that assumes that a vehicle slowing down means that it's turning and starts to overtake needs to reasses their understanding of road use.

Highways code rule 151 is the relavent one in this situation. Specifically [my emphasis]:

Rule 151
In slow-moving traffic. You should [...]
...
...
allow access into and from side roads, as blocking these will add to congestion
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/general-rules-techniques-and-advice-for-all-drivers-and-riders-103-to-158

As long as you have a bit of forsight and anticipation it's trivial to slow down to allow traffic to emerge. Slamming on your brakes isn't the right way to do it.

You certainly shouldn't be blocking the junction in the first place.

.
 

whatknot

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Yes I read that one but felt it was more for slowly crawling traffic but does fit the bill, but it directly opposes the assertion its against the highway code or illegal to do so
 

ScaredyCat

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Sideways":1rn998qi said:
Courtesy can help but the piority is to keep traffic moving freely and safely.
Allowing traffic to emerge keeps traffic flowing, that's why it's recommended.

Sideways":1rn998qi said:
I was once advised - righly or wrongly - that the moment you indicate to a car that it's safe to pull out (like in the example above - from a side road to turn right), you could be jointly liable if an accident is caused because of your actions
No. This is not true. It is the responsibility of the emerging vehicle to check that it is safe. No one else has this responsibility. You are not liable for letting them out.
 

MikeG.

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ScaredyCat":g6od065t said:
....No. This is not true. It is the responsibility of the emerging vehicle to check that it is safe. No one else has this responsibility. You are not liable for letting them out.
My cycle club has it in our rules that we don't call cars to pass us. The reason for this is that court cases have established that the cyclists bear some responsibility for any ensuing accident if they indicate it is safe to pass when it isn't. I know courts can be capricious, and can for some reason treat cyclists differently from other road users, but it does strike me as odd that well established principles for cyclists might not apply also to car drivers. Perhaps the difference is between "letting them out" (ie onus on them to choose a safe moment) and gesturing them that it is safe, calling them to come out.
 

ScaredyCat

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MikeG.":13ed8gp9 said:
My cycle club has it in our rules that we don't call cars to pass us. The reason for this is that court cases have established that the cyclists bear some responsibility for any ensuing accident if they indicate it is safe to pass when it isn't.
Can you give me some detail on the cases, I want to read up on them - all I can find is stuff on how to safely overtake a cyclist. No cases of what you've said :/
 

Phil Pascoe

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Sideways":3e8xuuj8 said:
Driver behind totally at fault if were to rear end the car in front.
This is generally presumed, but apparently not so. There was a letter in The Times a few years ago from a solicitor saying he had successfully defended five of the rear drivers in shunts that year (this was Sept.)
 

MikeG.

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ScaredyCat":341f8378 said:
..........Can you give me some detail on the cases, I want to read up on them - all I can find is stuff on how to safely overtake a cyclist. No cases of what you've said :/
No idea, I'm afraid. It's simply stated as I said it in our club manual.
 

ScaredyCat

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MikeG.":2ux67i58 said:
No idea, I'm afraid. It's simply stated as I said it in our club manual.
Unfortunate. I guess it could just be who ever wrote it had the opinion that it might be the case rather than actual case law. I know often, for clubs, it's just easier to assume this sort of thing to be on the safe side, but that has the side effect of people assuming there's a legal basis for it.

Would have been interesting to look at the case law.


.
 

Bm101

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It's the common sense law isn't it?
You flash someone to let them know 'I see you I'm letting you out/through/round'
Problem is there is no common sense.
My driving instructor told me never to encourage a pedestrian etc at crossing to pass because I have mirrors and can see it is clear to my left for example. For me to indicate is safe to cross is not my place. It's their duty to make sure they are safe. A policeman will tell you never to flash a car but we all do it.
They probably do too. Normal police. Not Traffic Police. Remember them? Traffic Police?!?
The letting out of sideroad traffic is madness if you have to slow or stop. It's the vehicle entering the main road that has the duty to wait for a safe space. If however the traffic is slow and backed up and there's a red light ahead anyway, you let them out right? But I only let one out. F*** that Guy behind him. He can wait the Bastar*. He's only coming out a sideroad and he probably murders children. Sitting there in his Toyota when he's just left his house after chopping up kids and it's taken me an hour and a half to get back from work! The Bas***d.

I pick my two kids up every day from little school. I generally walk the 20 mins there and back because I think its good for my kids physically and mentally. I chat with my kids about their day. Its a nice time for me as a Dad. My favourite part of the day really. Sometimes I do pick them up in the van but I always park at least two roads away.
I drive all over, in central London, the City, everyday. It's bewildering at first. Pedestrians walking out on the phone. Couriers on mopeds. Bicycleists. I will say no more about these. I would like to purchase one of their Blankets Of Invincibility if I can find a supplier... Most are fine, sometimes it does cross my mind to not brake sharply when it's clearly my right of way and deprive the world of an office worker that might one day move on from cold calling work to change the world in an undefinable but resolute way for the better. Circles within circles so up till now I have always continued to apply the brake pedal.
I would rather take my chances driving round there after 2 bottles of single malt than park down the school road at 3.20pm
The Mum's are lunatics. You only see the bad ones. But the bad ones are so convinced they have the right to do what they want. It's a sad reflection. Crossing the road with my kids, some div bint in her sunglasses revs the motor up to my side. I tell my kids to go to the pavement. They know the low voice. They go immediately.
I stand in the road and look at this lass.
She stares back. 15 minutes earlier she's bawling this oldish resident out for asking her to move her suv from his driveway so he can park on his own drive. She's effin' blindin' outside a junior infant school mind. I know who she is, I know her old man too. Chavs. Sub par.
Ahhh. F*** it. And somewhere a tiny click goes off in my mind.
I know the Mrs is going to hear about it later. And she's going to say something but there's a limit.
I keep staring.
She melts.
I keep looking.
She doesn't know where to look but down now.
So, now I've made my point, I move.
Ok. After a bit more looking. Some people deserve a wake up call.
There will be repercussions of some type but they will be moany ones. They will be worth it. I am a sea wall with the Atlantic at my back.
Braced for the complaints. Because people like that always complain.


Be good on the roads. Look out for each other. Give way.
Get into second and third quickly and fluidly at the lights.
'Illegitimi non carborundum'
 

Woody2Shoes

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MikeG.":13ge6lk5 said:
ScaredyCat":13ge6lk5 said:
....No. This is not true. It is the responsibility of the emerging vehicle to check that it is safe. No one else has this responsibility. You are not liable for letting them out.
My cycle club has it in our rules that we don't call cars to pass us. The reason for this is that court cases have established that the cyclists bear some responsibility for any ensuing accident if they indicate it is safe to pass when it isn't. I know courts can be capricious, and can for some reason treat cyclists differently from other road users, but it does strike me as odd that well established principles for cyclists might not apply also to car drivers. Perhaps the difference is between "letting them out" (ie onus on them to choose a safe moment) and gesturing them that it is safe, calling them to come out.
Having thought a bit more about it, I think that the reason I'm uncomfortable - as a motorist - about people inviting me onto the main carriageway in front of them, is that it puts pressure on me to do a manoeuvre which I would normally, by default, choose not to make (my instinct is to wait until I can see a safe break in the traffic - from all directions). It comes down to having part of my safety-related decision taken away from me (especially if I then seem ungracious for not accepting the offer and 'delaying' everybody as a result). This sort of "I think I know your situation better than you" aspect of it was why I mentioned the flashing scenario, which is different but similar.

Of course, anyone driving into the back of someone else was driving without enough care and attention (although decelerating unduly in front of someone is an unhelpful thing to do in a non-emergency).

Anyone overtaking (actually undertaking) somebody who appears to be slowing down ahead of a junction - even if they haven't (yet) started indicating for a turn (like someone on two wheels might justifiably do, I think) is perhaps not following the HC but I do see examples of it often.
 

MikeG.

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ScaredyCat":32fx347d said:
MikeG.":32fx347d said:
No idea, I'm afraid. It's simply stated as I said it in our club manual.
Unfortunate. I guess it could just be who ever wrote it had the opinion that it might be the case rather than actual case law. I know often, for clubs, it's just easier to assume this sort of thing to be on the safe side, but that has the side effect of people assuming there's a legal basis for it.

Would have been interesting to look at the case law..

You may well be right, but I think it is slightly stronger than that. We have an annual briefing on these sorts of things, and the guy who does it did describe the cases in more detail last time I heard him......and he is a lawyer. I am not, and have no further info, I'm afraid.
 

Bodgers

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Rorschach":3kod57u8 said:
Even if it were in the highway code, that doesn't make it law. The HC is an advisory guide for the most part.
.
The code indicates where laws apply. Not completely right to say it is advisory, there is a lot in there that is law.


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ScaredyCat

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Woody2Shoes":2s63n461 said:
like someone on two wheels might justifiably do, I think
Filtering, as it's known, is acceptable to the Highway code , indeed it warns other motorists to be aware of filtering motorcycles/bicycles et al

.
 

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