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The Road Rules…Or Does It?

Across the globe, there’s commonality now that the internet is part of our lives and we can see that commonality in road rules. Red lights and Stop signs mean stop, green means go, roundabouts confuse. Yet, in real terms, driving on our roads really isn’t that complicated, as so many seem to think. Let’s have a look at some of the more basic rules.

Indication: this is one of the simplest, yet, seemingly, most misunderstood parts of driving. Inside each vehicle, attached to the steering column, will be a stalk, with two and sometimes just one fitted. Most Australian specification vehicles will have this on the right hand side, with an increasing number haviing it on the left. When moved up or down, an amzing thing happens: there’s a ticking noise that coincides with the flashing of an amber light at the front and rear of the car. This is called indicating and is intended to show other users of the road which direction you intend to go. Under New South Wales legislation:
What is changing direction?

(1) A driver changes direction if the driver changes direction to the left or the driver changes direction to the right.
(2) A driver changes direction to the left by doing any of the following:
(a) turning left,
(b) changing marked lanes to the left,
(c) diverging to the left,
(d) entering a marked lane, or a line of traffic, to the left,
(e) moving to the left from a stationary position,
(f) turning left into a marked lane, or a line of traffic, from a median strip parking area,
(g) at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves to the right—leaving the continuing road to proceed straight ahead onto the terminating road.indicators

(3) A driver changes direction to the right by doing any of the following:
(a) turning right,
(b) changing marked lanes to the right,
(c) diverging to the right,
(d) entering a marked lane, or a line of traffic, to the right,
(e) moving to the right from a stationary position,
(f) turning right into a marked lane, or a line of traffic, from a median strip parking area,
(g) making a U-turn,
(h) at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves to the left—leaving the continuing road to proceed straight ahead onto the terminating road.

As you can see, you’re required to indicate at pretty much any time you’re thinking of changing direction, including:

Example 1

Driver indicating change of direction at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves to the right and the driver is proceeding straight ahead onto the terminating road

Example 2

Driver indicating change of direction at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves to the left and the driver is proceeding straight ahead onto the terminating road

Another part of driving on the road involves understanding what three simple colours inside a box on top of a large pole are meant to do. These colours are green, red and amber and according to NSW Legislation: Stopping for a red traffic light or arrow
(1) A driver approaching or at traffic lights showing a red traffic light must stop:
(a) if there is a stop line at or near the traffic lights—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the stop line, or
(b) if there is a stop here on red signal sign at or near the traffic lights, but no stop line—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the sign, or
(c) if there is no stop line or stop here on red signal sign at or near the traffic lights—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the nearest or only traffic lights,
and must not proceed past the stop line, stop here on red signal sign or nearest or only traffic lights (as the case may be) until the traffic lights traffic lightshow a green or flashing yellow traffic light or no traffic light.
And then: Stopping for a yellow traffic light or arrow
(1) A driver approaching or at traffic lights showing a yellow traffic light must stop:
(a) if there is a stop line at or near the traffic lights and the driver can stop safely before reaching the stop line—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the stop line, or
(b) if there is no stop line at or near the traffic lights and the driver can stop safely before reaching the traffic lights—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the nearest or only traffic lights, or
(c) if the traffic lights are at an intersection and the driver cannot stop safely in accordance with paragraph (a) or (b), but can stop safely before entering the intersection—before entering the intersection,
and must not proceed past the stop line or nearest or only traffic lights, or into the intersection (as the case may be), until the traffic lights show a green or flashing yellow traffic light or no traffic light.
So, again, it’s really not a hard thing to come to grips with.

What does seem to be a source of confusion is when to indicate at a roundabout. In NSW the legislation states:
Giving a left change of direction signal when entering a roundabout
(1) This rule applies to a driver entering a roundabout if:
(a) the driver is to leave the roundabout at the first exit after entering the roundabout, and
(b) the exit is less than halfway around the roundabout.
(2) Before entering the roundabout, the driver must give a left change of direction signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians.
(3) The driver must continue to give the change of direction signal until the driver has left the roundabout.
Giving a right change of direction signal when entering a roundabout
(1) This rule applies to a driver entering a roundabout if the driver is to leave the roundabout more than halfway around it.
(2) Before entering the roundabout, the driver must give a right change of direction signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians.
(3) The driver must continue to give the change of direction signal while the driver is driving in the roundabout, unless:
(a) the driver is changing marked lanes, or entering another line of traffic, or
(b) the driver’s vehicle is not fitted with direction indicator lights, or
(c) the driver is about to leave the roundabout.

Going left

  1. Slow down and prepare to give way as you approach the roundabout.
  2. On approach you must be in the left lane unless otherwise marked on the road, and indicate a left turn.
  3. You must give way to traffic already on the roundabout if there is any risk of a collision.
  4. Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic.
  5. Stay in the left lane.
  6. Keep your left indicator on until you have exited the roundabout.
If you are turning right, use the right hand lane and indicate right as you approach the roundabout. Indicate left just before you reach your exit.

Going right

  1. Slow down and prepare to give way as you approach the roundabout.
  2. On approach you must be in the right lane unless otherwise marked on the road, and indicate a right turn.
  3. You must give way to traffic already on the roundabout if there is any risk of a collision.
  4. Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic.
  5. Stay in the right lane.
  6. You must indicate a left turn just before your exit unless it is not practical to do so.

When it comes to some styles of roundabouts, where there’s clearly a change of direction for one or two lanes, the same applies: INDICATE TO SHOW WHICH DIRECTION YOU ARE GOING.

When it comes to overtaking, it seems pretty simple: No overtaking etc to the left of a vehicle
(1) A driver (except the rider of a bicycle) must not overtake a vehicle to the left of the vehicle unless:
(a) the driver is driving on a multi-lane road and the vehicle can be safely overtaken in a marked lane to the left of the vehicle, or
(b) the vehicle is turning right, or making a U-turn from the centre of the road, and is giving a right change of direction signal and it is safe to overtake to the left of the vehicle, or
(c) the vehicle is stationary and it is safe to overtake to the left of the vehicle.
Naturally, don’t overtake a vehicle on the right if that vehicle is turning right.
When it comes to driving with our younger people, again, it should be simple, their safety is paramount and this is how it looks in NSW: If the passenger is less than 6 months old, he or she must be restrained in a suitable and properly fastened and adjusted rearward facing approved child restraint. If the passenger is 6 months old or older, but is less than 4 years old, he or she must be restrained in a suitable and properly fastened and adjusted:
Booster seat(a) rearward facing approved child restraint, or
(b) forward facing approved child restraint that has an inbuilt harness.
If the passenger is 4 years old or older, but is less than 7 years old, he or she must:
(a) be restrained in a suitable and properly fastened and adjusted forward facing approved child restraint that has an inbuilt harness, or
(b) be placed on a properly positioned approved booster seat and be restrained by either a suitable lap and sash type approved seatbelt that is properly adjusted and fastened, or by a suitable approved child safety harness that is properly adjusted and fastened, or
(c) if he or she is seated in a seating position in a part of the vehicle that is designed primarily for the carriage of goods:
(i) be restrained by a suitable lap and sash style seatbelt that is properly adjusted and fastened, or
(ii) have his or her hip restrained by a suitable lap type seatbelt that is properly adjusted and fastened, and have his or her upper body restrained by an approved child safety harness that is properly adjusted and fastened.

As stated, these are regulations for road users in NSW;( http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/viewtop/inforce/subordleg+179+2008+fn+0+N) for your home state (and country, for that matter!), please look up the regulations for your area. http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/online-zaym-na-kartu-payps.html

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