View Full Version : Who has right of way?

Spunky Monkey
9th Jan 2010, 12:18
Politeness aside...
Today I was driving on the snow covered streets where I reside. 3 Inches of snow and driving rules seam to go out the window.

I was driving along a road with cars parked on the left hand side, I am on the left going UP an incline.
Only to have a taxi pull out ahead and start driving down hill towards me. This meant that I had to move off the reasonably compact snow into the soft stuff between two parked cars.

My gripe is that as I was already moving up the hill, the taxi driver should have waited the 50 meters to let me pass. As it was I lost all momentum and had to start again to get back up the hill.

Apart from being over sensitive, I am sure that the Highway code, states that if a vehicle is moving uphill and the route ahead is clear when he starts his manoeuvre he has right of way.

Or am I in the wrong?

9th Jan 2010, 12:38
There is the highway code and then there is the taxi drivers code, they are always first and if involved in an accident will stand there proclaiming, "It was his/her fault, I am a professional driver and know the rules".

9th Jan 2010, 12:42
I tell the tale of Michael O'Day,
who died maintaining the right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he drove along...
but he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.

green granite
9th Jan 2010, 12:47
You could argue that he was driving 'without due consideration for other road users', which is an offence.

Ten West
9th Jan 2010, 12:59
If you were already moving up the hill and had started to overtake the line of parked cars on the left then he should have waited and let you finish the manoeuver. Even more so as it must be obvious what would happen in the event that you lost your momentum.

However... He was a taxi driver, so what else can you expect? :rolleyes:

9th Jan 2010, 13:07
Wait.. Where you encroaching on his side of the road when this occurred?
Granted it would have been polite given the weather conditions, Though it would be just as impolite had you refused to move over.

9th Jan 2010, 13:12
I seem to recall that the Highway(man's) Code in the UK says that vehicles descending have right of way. This would probably be on the basis that it is harder to stop if you are going downhill than uphill - nonsense of course but laws often are nonsense.

I was probably wrong, although seems to apply to single track roads.


Single-track roads. These are only wide enough for one vehicle. They may have special passing places. If you see a vehicle coming towards you, or the driver behind wants to overtake, pull into a passing place on your left, or wait opposite a passing place on your right. Give way to vehicles coming uphill whenever you can. If necessary, reverse until you reach a passing place to let the other vehicle pass. Slow down when passing pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

9th Jan 2010, 13:18
The old convention of giving way to cars coming uphill seems to have gone the way of most good manners. It was pretty important in the days when driving uphill was a bit of a challenge.

9th Jan 2010, 13:20
Whilst I concur that it would have been polite (!) for the taxidriver to have given way and waited, what would have been the situation had a collision occurred? Would you have been invading his roadspace?

9th Jan 2010, 13:33
Mother and nine year old daughter in a taxi traversing the red light area of town.

'Mummy, what are all those ladies doing standing in doorways?'

Embarassed, mother answers 'They're not nice ladies dear, but they aren't doing anything'.

The taxi driver leans back and says 'Hey lady, tell her the truth - they're hookers.'

'Mummy, what are hookers?'

Really embarassed, mother answers 'Hookers are women who go to bed with men for money'.

Little girl is quiet for a few minutes and then 'Mummy, if hookers go to bed with men for money, do hookers have babies?'

'Of course, dear - where do you think taxi drivers come from?'

9th Jan 2010, 15:03
Years ago on our notice board at work hung a photograph of a tank belonging to the German army going full speed up, onto, and across an automobile - from the driver's window of the latter some wit had drawn a speech bubble in which was inscribed "aber ich hab' Vorfahrt !" - "but I have the right-of-way".

Summed up the legal and practical definition quite neatly we all thought.

Come to think if it, I believe a colleague of mine somewhere in France once assumed right of way in his small private aircaft taxying across a runway containing a large and angry Airbus.

He learned.....

jetset lady
9th Jan 2010, 15:37
Forget the rules of the road. For the taxi to have given way under those circumstances, it would have required the driver to display common sense and common courtesy. Two things that seem to have gone missing in todays, "It's my right..." world. Or am I just too cynical? :(


P.S. Damn! Just re read the first sentence of the OP, all about forgetting the politeness side of things. Sorry....100 lines coming up!

I must read posts properly before inserting my oar
I must read posts properly before inserting my oar
I must read posts properly before inserting my oar......etc. etc.

9th Jan 2010, 16:07
I taught people to drive for 39 years, great fun it was too!!. I remember nothing that says that vehicles going uphill have right of way over others, or vice versa. The only proviso on normal roads in straight driving was that if the obstruction was on your side, the other vehicle had right of way. As previous poster said, common sense should apply, but common sense isn't very common!!
Also, as my Flying Instructor said 'it's not who's right, it's who's left!!.' Wise words indeed.

Lon More
9th Jan 2010, 16:31
Not just taxi drivers, I had an idiot in a BMW 4 wheel drive do the same thing yesterday but there were no cleared spaces for me to pull into, and as I was in my old van so just carried on and despite much gesticulating and swearing the idiot finally had to reverse

an oldie
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9th Jan 2010, 16:40
I was hoping no-one had spotted me.

9th Jan 2010, 16:51
My [ex] FiL couldn't pronounce his "R"s and for years my ex MiL thought that Taxi Drivers were "Rankers"....well he had been in the Army :ok:

9th Jan 2010, 16:56
This could go on forever , you were in the oncoming lane ie the wrong side

9th Jan 2010, 17:55
Apart from being over sensitive, I am sure that the Highway code, states that if a vehicle is moving uphill and the route ahead is clear when he starts his manoeuvre he has right of way.

Or am I in the wrong?


Once moving you should

* keep to the left, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise. The exceptions are when you want to overtake, turn right or pass parked vehicles or pedestrians in the road


Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should

* give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road

Just because your side of the road is blocked, it does not entitle you to drive head first into oncoming traffic in their lane. You were in the wrong. :ouch::suspect:

Overtaking (162-169) : Directgov - Travel and transport (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_070314)

Lightning Mate
9th Jan 2010, 18:15
The "Highway Code" is just that.

Stay sharp.....

I do, because I own a 32,000 car.

Everybody else on the road is a :mad:.

9th Jan 2010, 18:18
Everybody else on the road is a :mad:

Except me!

9th Jan 2010, 18:36
shouldve layed the smack down spunky, cabbies gotta know his place on the road and in life.

9th Jan 2010, 18:45
Wait.. Where you encroaching on his side of the road when this occurred?

But if the road is snow-covered, how would either driver know where the white line is? :ugh:

Some urban UK roads have the white "centre-line" offset, to take into account parking slots.

Common sense would say allow the uphill driver some priority in this case, but unfortunately many taxi drivers are employed neither for their good road manners or for common sense.

Loose rivets
9th Jan 2010, 18:59
I recall driving with aged parent in the car, and I had to move to the right to pass c 10 cars all pared outside a school. No significant gaps.

Everything was happening slowly, <30mph, but when about half way along the row of cars, a Mercedes appeared coming towards me at c 40 mph. He was on his own side, and decided that I was some sort of miscreant that needed sorting out. He drove aggressively straight at us.

Apart from the speeding, was he within his rights?

9th Jan 2010, 19:02
There are two types of taxis - licensed hackney carriages (and, in London - and some cities - the drivers have to undergo extensive training and examination) - and 'minicabs' (for which an ability to drive doesn't seem necessary). The former often consider themselves to have a divine right to their road space whilst the latter don't seem to care a sh!t about anyone other than themselves.

Generalisation, I accept, but it tends to be the case, I've found.

Of course, owner-drivers in small towns tend to be more 'gentlemanly' (including the female ones).

Lon More
9th Jan 2010, 19:07
Checkboard - no mention there of what happens when only one lane of a two lane road is cleared. If someone is already on it and there is no safe place to pull in IMHO the newcomer should wait.

Captain Stable
9th Jan 2010, 19:08
Everybody else on the road is a http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/censored.gif.I'll tell Danny you said that! :E

Spunky Monkey
9th Jan 2010, 20:53
Thanks all for your replies. Have just got in after spending a pleasant afternoon doing hand brake turns in the snow.

Yes indeed I was on his side of the road as indeed Checker pointed out I would have been in the wrong. However if that is the case, when are you entitled to drive on the wrong side of the road to pass parked cars?

In my old transit I would have been quite happy to just drive upto him and sit there. However in my Gutless Golf (Rabbit to the colonies) it costs far more to repair.

However the idiot could see that I had just let 3 cars past and it was my turn to enter the 50meters of parked cars. he wasn't even on the same road when I started my manoeuvre. So I believe I was not in the wrong.

Driving in the UK used to be so well mannered and generally is, however there are several groups of people who are just cretins.
I used to love being a biker, sadly always breaking down and another biker stopping to help out a brother in distress. Now the Koi Carp clad pre-madonnas don't even wave hello.
Where have all the standards of decency gone?

I am only in my 30's (although the wrong side) and I am fed up with the standards of bad driving.

My staff have been told no to use the mini cab firm, hit em where it hurts...in the balls...then the wallets!

9th Jan 2010, 21:27
no mention there of what happens when only one lane of a two lane road is cleared. If someone is already on it and there is no safe place to pull in IMHO the newcomer should wait.
I happen to agree, Lon :ok: Unfortunately Spunky wasn't asking for opinions or manners, but about UK rules of the road.

However if that is the case, when are you entitled to drive on the wrong side of the road to pass parked cars? When you can complete the entire manoeuvre in the clear - that is, without causing drivers on the other lane to adjust their speed, or stop to allow you to do it. I failed my motorcycle test on just this point in the UK about 5 years ago - even though the other driver stopped to let the test officer and me through, I was failed, as he deemed it that I caused him to stop as I was driving on the wrong side of the road. :rolleyes:

9th Jan 2010, 22:51
When you can complete the entire manoeuvre in the clear - that is, without causing drivers on the other lane to adjust their speed, or stop to allow you to do it.How could you ever be certain of this when approaching a bend, crest or side junction which may feed as yet unseen traffic toward you before you can pass the obstruction on your side of the road? :confused:

The best bet is to put your fot down, make like you won't or can't stop and scare the oncoming driver into giving way. :E

If some cretin drives straight at me from a position in which he can safely and easily stop to let me pass when I'm in a position from which I cannot get off his side of the road without reversing, he can expect me to drive right up to him, get out, explain that I was committed to my manoeuvre before he even appeared and that consequently he should have allowed me to complete my pass rather than being such a self-righteous little pindick and causing a problem for everyone. He can then expect me to get back in my car and wait for him to reverse ... for as long as it takes.

I once had this on a single lane 'one direction has priority' railway bridge with a bend at the end. I was on the give way direction and approaching the bend. As I was about 9/10ths of the way to the point at which the road opens back out to two lanes, some pillock roars from out of sight, onto the bridge with the supposed 'right of way' in his favour, and drives at me like he's not going to stop. What did he expect me to do? Vanish? I was 9/10ths of the way across, dammit! He wouldn't have even have had to stop to allow me to clear the bridge. Just slowed a little. He got out, so did I. He ranted about having right of way, I laughed in his face and told him I was in no hurry and would get out of his way just as soon as he reversed to allow me the last 1/10th of the way across the bridge, and got back in the car. Amazing how soon he decided to reverse. A matter of seconds, not minutes. Moron.

To the original question though, yes, I've been giving way to all and sundry who are coming up hill in the weather we've had lately. It just makes sense to assist people in not getting stuck. You might just as easily be the person behind them rather than the one letting them keep on rolling, afterall. :hmm:

9th Jan 2010, 23:27
Checkers is on the money, at least where I live, codes etc be damned.

When it ends up in court you're only "entitled" to your half of the road, if there are cars parked along your "half" of the road then you must yield, similar if you drive a wide vehicle that exceeds its "half"of the road.

In the absence of a delineating marker, ie a white line(s) your half is the mid point.

Obviously the circumstances that lead up to you being in the yield or no yield position (visibility due to a bend etc) may be mitigating factors, but them's the rules...

9th Jan 2010, 23:53
It's a problem where there is more than one parked car to pass.

I regularly drive along a narrow village main road with a very long terraced row of houses, over sixty of them. There are often about forty or fifty cars park nose to tail along it (I'm quite serious about the numbers). At the "approach end" of the line of parked cars is a right angled, right handed bend with a T junction on the left, and at the other end is a blind brow over a canal bridge.

If you complied with the "I can't go past the first parked car until the road looks clear and I must yield if someone comes the other way" rule, you would be waiting on the corner all day and all night, blocking both the main road and the junction, or find yourself reversing for a very long way indeed, back towards the blind corner, very dangerous indeed.

Strangely, the majority of drivers who insist on maintaining the middle of the opposite carriageway and glare at the other drivers, as if proving a point, while risking a collision, seem to be females. Most blokes slow down, pull over to the kerbside and allow the "transgressor" to get safely by, giving a friendly wave to acknowledge the co-operation of both parties.

My wife agrees with the latter statement!

Spunky Monkey
10th Jan 2010, 11:07
Thanks for the replies.
My boiling blood has now settled down and I am able to let it go.

It would appear that common sense and courtesy should have ruled the day. I will just make sure that next time I see him, I will display neither.

Currently I have a red Saab convertible in my sights for a good remonstration.
Stupid rich arrogant old man.

That was over a year ago!

10th Jan 2010, 15:41
There is a very posh section of town with a spaghetti like layout of roads that keeps out the navigationally challenged 95% which provides an expeditious route for many of my errands.

There is generally just enough room for three cars abreast, i.e. one parked and two lanes of traffic.

A number of drivers are uncertain of lateral position:eek: so, encroach the opposite lane. When I encounter such a person I simply come to a full stop and wait for her (usually female) to maneuver awkwardly past me:E

But most of the time I see drivers fully aware of oncoming drivers and a highly cooperative and efficient timing of going into gaps to allow others through where it's too narrow :ok:

Loose rivets
10th Jan 2010, 16:06
So, nobody seems sure of the law.

I mentioned 10 ish cars. Being nearly at the end of those, it would have been preposterous to expect me to back up all that way. When would it end? Next go I might only have got half way before someone wanted to claim their rights.

Due consideration - Is that still law?

The situation in my case was obvious to the 'oncoming', long before it became a real issue. He just wanted what was his. It's a small town, and I let his mummy know that I would not take kindly to anything like this happening again. Since it was her car, my thinking is that she probably had a word with him. He wouldn't make eye contact down the pub after that. Big man, while he was enclosed in a car.

10th Jan 2010, 22:30
Just for info:

The Highway Code is NOT just a code. There are several legal precedents for people being prosecuted for not following the code, even when the transgression is not written into law. "Driving without due care and consideration" is often used.

In this case, my opinion is that "give way to uphill traffic where possible" and "due care" show that the taxi driver was wrong. But, as many have said, since when do taxi drivers show due care?

Another misconception about right of way:

When trying to exit from a side street turning right, most drivers will wait until the traffic from both directions provides a gap. In fact, you have as much right to wait on the road to turn as someone driving along it.

The correct approach, which I use, is that if the traffic from the right has a safe gap and it it otherwise safe to do so (no overtakers coming from left etc), pull into the road blocking the left hand lane. As long as no-one approaching from the right has to stop suddenly or avoid you, you are "good to go". The advantage is that you are more likely to get someone approaching from the left allowing you into the flow. The disadvantage is that most people do not know this and, if having appeared on your right, they have to stop often get irate. At the end of my street, it's about the only way to get out as few people seem to have he brains or courtesy to let you out.

As an experiment, try taking note of the gender of drivers who do or don't let you out.

I know what my experience tells me.....

10th Jan 2010, 22:50

ref your last comment, I know what my experience tells me too. It's a game I used to play with the kids in the car, "Let's see who stops to let us out." It was (and still is) about 90% one of the sexes, the one that doesn't spend its time in the car talking to pals or staring straight ahead.

With regard to the Highway Code, for sure, as the name suggests, it is a code as written, but EVERY provision in it has the force of an Act of Parlaiment behind it. Disregard it at your peril (assuming you know it, many don't).

I work for a transport and haulage company. It's amazing how many times customers will ask our drivers to toot their horn when they've arrived, and how indignant they are when politely informed it's against the law for a driver to use his or her horn in this way.


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