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LarryH57

Highway Code Rule 185 - Roundabouts

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Posted (edited)

I may be stupid but when I started driving in 1970's I'm sure that the Highway Code rules at the time, relating to roundabouts said 'give way to vehicles from the right, AND ALSO TO VEHICLES ALREADY ON THE ROUNDABOUT'.

However a quick check of the current HWC says very blandly; Watch out for all other road users already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all.

I intend to query this with the relevant Government Department in charge of the HWC rules as at a roundabout near me I often have the following situation when out in my Lwt, which as you may know doesn't have a great 0 to 60 performance, to allow rapid acceleration to escape a situation.

So to set the scene -  I have followed Rule 184 and seeing as the roundabout is clear of all other traffic I have pulled away on to the roundabout to turn right - only to find that some f'ing boy racer has come up the road on my right at speed, after I'm already on the roundabout, and assumed they have complete right of way, even though they were no where near the roundabout when I entered it.

The roundabout in question would be a T junction without the roundabout in place - with the horizontal part of the T being a main road and the vertical part of the T is a 'side road'. Boy racer of course knows that when he is coming from right to left across what would be the T junction, he does not have to give way to the left from the side road, from which I am entering the roundabout. Despite all the signs on the road saying how many casualties there have been, the roundabout in question is an enormous one that is only painted on the road with a small hump in the middle, so locals can take it at speed (and over the limit) unlike all the others on the same road that have grass, trees and flowers on them surrounded by a raised kerb.  

Luckily my brakes are good so I have avoided any accidents so far, though sadly not avoided those hand signals of a type not found in the Highway Code.

I guess you have similar situations from inconsiderate drivers when out in your MVs.

Edited by LarryH57

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Posted (edited)

Here is the very first part of Rule 185:

”Give priority to traffic approaching from your right unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights”.

In the case you mention, the “boy racers” would be not necessarily be contravening Rule 185 but they would certainly be contravening the part of Rule 167 which states:

”Do not overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users”, particularly the example: “when you would force another road user to swerve or slow down”.

 

 

 

 

Edited by mtskull

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Posted (edited)

Mtskull,

I appreciate your comments, and I did see the first part of the Rule - but to clarify the roundabout in question gives enough visibility to see vehicles coming from the right and nearing the roundabout but not enough to see someone 100 yards or more further down the road, (often exceeding the 30mph speed limit) so I think it is rather stupid for the HWC to expect a driver of a vehicle to always give way to a vehicle on the right no matter what speed the other vehicle is doing, no matter that the other vehicle on the right may be unseen, or way down the road and nowhere near the roundabout in the first place.  I have seen even worse roundabouts in Oxfordshire & Berks where there is even less visibility down the road on the right, with so much vegetation that it makes joining a roundabout a bit of a gamble if other drivers are not considerate.

I'm sure we have all joined a major A road at a roundabout and obviously given way to the right  - but if we came to a roundabout and saw a vehicle in the distance travelling down a very straight A road and there was no likelihood the vehicle would be at the roundabout before us, logic would say it would be safe to join or should we wait for that vehicle to cover the final 500 yards to the roundabout? The HWC offers no proper guidance.

Therefore, I do think that more emphasis is needed in the HWC for vehicles already on the roundabout that genuinely entered when no other traffic was just about to join. 

Edited by LarryH57

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Some people are so impatient .I had an encounter with such a person pulling out in front of me from a minor road . I was in a Ferret he was in an escort. You know the result  the ferret made a nice ridge dent over his boot. He did not stop but sped off with me shaking my fist in the hatch .For someone that needed to get in front of an army vehicle there are consequence,s for there actions. Good job it was not a 60 tonne vehicle.

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I suspect that in this instance the fault, if any, lies not so much with the highway code as the design of the road layout. Many of these mini roundabouts are squeezed into the space ocupied by the original junction and the small size often makes it extreemly difficult for drivers to decide exactly who has presedence. There are a couple of roundabouts I encounter on a regular basis where traffic grinds to a halt because no-one can decide who should go first.

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On 7/28/2019 at 8:21 AM, mtskull said:

Here is the very first part of Rule 185:

”Give priority to traffic approaching from your right unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights”.

In the case you mention, the “boy racers” would be not necessarily be contravening Rule 185 but they would certainly be contravening the part of Rule 167 which states:

”Do not overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users”, particularly the example: “when you would force another road user to swerve or slow down”.

"Girl Racers are just as bad."

On 7/28/2019 at 8:21 AM, mtskull said:

 

 

 

 

 

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Though why do they build roundabouts, then plant bloody great trees and shrubs on them so the visibility is reduced to the point you can't actually SEE what the traffic is doing?

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2 hours ago, Tony B said:

Though why do they build roundabouts, then plant bloody great trees and shrubs on them so the visibility is reduced to the point you can't actually SEE what the traffic is doing?

And the grass is to long on the approach

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On 7/28/2019 at 12:21 PM, LarryH57 said:

I'm sure we have all joined a major A road at a roundabout and obviously given way to the right  - but if we came to a roundabout and saw a vehicle in the distance travelling down a very straight A road and there was no likelihood the vehicle would be at the roundabout before us, logic would say it would be safe to join or should we wait for that vehicle to cover the final 500 yards to the roundabout? The HWC offers no proper guidance.

You can only give way when there is something to give way to. At risk of straying into pedantry, the answer is in the definition of the words “give way”, i.e. “yield” (which is the word actually used in some other countries).  Unless  you and the other vehicle actually want to travel over the same bit of road at the same time, there is no conflict and therefore no need to yield anything. Waiting for a vehicle 500 yards away to pass would be like waving a white flag to somebody who isn’t even fighting you.

 

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BTW - Who is responsible for the contents of the HWC? Who should I write to?

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The Highway code is not law, but may be quoted in law as description of best practice. That's what I was taught. On the matter of driving to the road conditions , let me share with you last Tuesday, my Perfect day. As you know I drive a bus currently around an area whwere the main road signs are Width not to exceed 6' 6'' Except for acess. Incedentaly the lanes also provide a short cut to A2 and M25,. So one part is single track with passing places and a nasty bend into it that narrows around the bend. I always keep in the hedge and creep around it. Then coming towards me , the Mercedes SUV snow white, with black roof. Driven by blonde, with sun bed tan, dark glasses, despite the rain, white dress.- and coffee cup in left hand. Sees me hits the brakes, cup tips forward, lid flies off- and a lovely brown wave follows the lid. 😂

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Posted (edited)
On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 9:20 PM, Tony B said:

The Highway code is not law, but may be quoted in law as description of best practice. That's what I was taught.

Some of the code is law - see 'wording of the Highway Code' here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/introduction

Some of it will be stating law found elsewhere.  Some of it may be what's know as tertiary legislation - that is, primary or secondary legislation will give officials power to deal with detail such as this in a publication rather than Parliament being troubled with it.

Edited by Runflat

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On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 11:38 PM, LarryH57 said:

I may be stupid but when I started driving in 1970's I'm sure that the Highway Code rules at the time, relating to roundabouts said 'give way to vehicles from the right, AND ALSO TO VEHICLES ALREADY ON THE ROUNDABOUT'.

I don't have HC of that vintage.  For interest, a c.1961 version says: '45 - There are no rights of way in general at roundabouts.'

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Generally give way to the right was as the way I  was taught in the middle sixties seems sensible otherwise chaos will occur

There are different rules abroad

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But thats missing the point; you look, listen and enter the roundabout to turn right in your MV when no other vehicle is in sight or even near the roundabout and then some idiot comes racing up the road and flies across the roundabout broadside to your drivers door , which according to the wording in Section 185 of HWC implies they are in the right!

In the above there is no consideration in HWC for a vehicle being on the roundabout in 'good faith' - and this situation is totally different from any of us being an idiot and barging on the the roundabout seconds before / inches from a driver coming from the right and 'claiming possession' of the roundabout.

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Roundabouts should be easy to use but it appears to difficult for most. These same people on realising they have made an error, try to rectify their mistake by a dangerous manoeuvre rather than following through with the mistake and correcting when safe to do so.

The highways agency also don’t help by erecting confusing signage and painting directions on the road. This signage and painted surface directions are then obscured by queues of traffic so that a stranger to the area is left guessing as to what lane to use.

I thought Lincolnshire was bad until I went to Milton Keynes. It’s like a roundabout breeding centre!!

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