Turning right: The Rule as found on Internet
If you want to turn right and you are on a road with lanes in both directions, drive as close to the middle of the road as possible without crossing over into the opposite lane, indicate that you want to turn right and then turn without obstructing or endangering other traffic.
If you want to turn right at an intersection you must not encroach on the right half of the road into which you will be turning or on the road from where you are turning, except in the intersection itself. You must at all times pass to the left of any traffic island or comply with appropriate traffic sign ordering you otherwise.
I understand that the rule is also applicable when turning out of a dual side road into a single lane, two direction road. In other words you go across and the turn so that you ars not obstructing the traffic in the cross road..
Pretoria drivers, in general, however, do not seem to interpret the rule this way and most turn as indicated in the first diagram.
Comments from Gavin Hoole
This is the actual wording of Regulation 302 as it relates to this situation:
“…and shall not effect such turning unless he or she can do so without obstructing or endangering other traffic and –
(a) if he or she is driving a vehicle on the roadway of a public road which roadway is intended for traffic in both directions—
(i) he or she shall steer such vehicle as near as circumstances may permit to the immediate left of the middle of the roadway on which he or she is travelling; and
(ii) where the turn is at an intersection, he or she shall not encroach on the right half of the roadway into or out of which he or she intends to turn, except in the intersection itself, but shall in any event pass to the left of any traffic island in such intersection or comply with the direction conveyed by any appropriate road traffic sign;”
- There is no rule of the road that states on which side two vehicles must pass each other when both are turning right in opposite directions.
- A key phrase in the rule is the wording above: ‘except in the intersection itself’.
- So, technically speaking, the Pretoria drivers are not actually violating any rule of the road, provided they do not obstruct other traffic moving from any direction.
- Some intersections have guidelines to assist drivers in positioning their vehicles while turning, and these may indicate that drivers should pass to the right of each other within the intersection. In this (official) diagram, drivers in the two mandatory right-turn lanes coming from 12 o’clock in the diagram are guided to pass so that other vehicle/s turning in the opposite direction from 6 o’clock will pass them on their left side. Likewise, those drivers coming from 6 o’clock and turning right are guided to turn with the other vehicles passing on their left – i.e. passenger-side to passenger-side.
- Conclusion: It seems fine for vehicles to pass each other passenger-side to passenger-side when in the intersection itself and turning right, dependent on the actual layout of the intersection and any road markings, and definitely in compliance with the rules of safety, not obstructing, etc., as spelled out in the regulation for turning right.