did_you_knowQuestion:

As a driving instructor I would like to know which is correct. Some examiners want the learner to turn wide(keep left) while other examiners want the learner to keep to the right and do a lane change to the left later on.What is regarded as the rule when turning right into a road with two traffic lanes?

Answer:

Turning right into a dual roadway:

In the event of there being oncoming traffic and pedestrians crossing on your right:

1. When the traffic light turns green, move smoothly forward into the intersection, if you are the first vehicle waiting to turn right. I recommend positioning the vehicle roughly one third across the space between your stop line, and the stop line on the opposite side of the road. Stop your vehicle straight, with the wheels straight. (Do not stop skew, while waiting to turn, to guard against being bashed forward into a head-on collision if first involved in a rear-end collision.)

The “third” is a good way to work it out because it gives you an equal portion of the space to the right-turning driver ahead of you, and leaves a third for you both to turn once oncoming traffic and pedestrians have gone through the intersection. Politely wait for all on-coming traffic proceeding straight through the intersection, which is close enough to be a danger to you or others before moving off. Also permit the pedestrians crossing on your right to complete crossing the side of the road you wish to enter. (Pedestrians are slower than vehicles, so they fall into a second position in the order of “who goes first?”). Wait too for vehicle turning to their left, which must wait for pedestrians before turning.

2. N.B. If you are the second vehicle, it is generally wise to wait behind the stop line if there is a considerable amount of oncoming traffic approaching. When the traffic light turns amber then red before the approaching traffic is forced to stop driving straight on, the driver in front of you eventually gets an opportunity to go through. You as the second vehicle would then be forced to turn when the traffic light has already turned red. Your student will be failed in this case, unless the intersection is so big that his vehicle will not be standing on top of any painted lines. When waiting behind the stop line you may experience some drivers hooting at you to move forward, because it is common practise for four or five vehicles to crowd through after the traffic light has turned red. Sometimes they will cut past on your right and go across a red light! We urge road engineers to install flashing green arrows to give drivers in right turning lanes their own opportunity to turn legally wherever possible.

Now we get to your question:

A driver turning right into a dual roadway (if there is only one right turning lane), has the choice of turning into either lane, but the first rule of the road tells us to keep left.

We therefore generally recommend turning into the left lane.

Please note: It is always advisable to check the left blind spot in case a driver on your left turns right illegally, contrary to the “straight only” yellow painted mandatory direction arrows in his lane.

Exceptions:

• If we also follow the systematic approach to hazards (system of vehicle control) by looking far ahead, and anticipating, it is sometimes necessary to take the right-hand lane to avoid being stuck behind a stationary vehicle in the left-hand lane while the vehicles behind you all pass on your right.

• Another reason to select the right- hand lane is when your intention is to turn to the right almost immediately after that again. This lane selection will prevent needless lane changes within a short space of time.

We recently had a query from an instructor who had turned right. He was under the impression that he could turn into the right lane while oncoming traffic turned to their left in the left lane.

Not so! Wait until all danger of oncoming traffic is past before turning.

NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATIONS, 2000 RegS 302-303

302 Procedure when turning

(2) The driver of a vehicle on a public road who desires to turn to the right shall, having due regard to the provisions of regulation 301, before reaching the point at which he or she intends to turn, indicate in the manner prescribed in these regulations, his or her intention to turn 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; or
(b) if he or she is driving a vehicle on a roadway of a public road where such roadway is intended for traffic in only one direction— (i) he or she shall steer such vehicle as near as circumstances permit to the
right side of such roadway; and
(ii) where the turn is at an intersection he or she shall not encroach on the right half of the roadway into 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 an appropriate road traffic sign: Provided that where such turn is to be made into a roadway intended for traffic in only one direction, he or she may encroach on the right half of that roadway.

Hoping this has answered your question, and feel free to contact us for any additional queries.

Best Regards,

Pat Allen
National President: SAIDI

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