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Old December 9th, 2010, 12:54 AM   #41
Penn's Woods
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Originally Posted by Grisent View Post
I agree that it is neither possible nor reasonable to mark ALL intersections, both equal and prioritized, with signage.
It is possible; in fact it's done here. Whether it's reasonable, we can argue about. :-)

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Originally Posted by Grisent View Post
But I took a look at my local traffic code and among a lot of other things, it says (in an approximate translation):

Driver must give way to everybody else when entering the road
1) from a parking lot;
2) from a resting area;
3) from an area adjacent to road;
4) from a courtyard area, or its access road;
5) from an unpaved road.


I am reasonably sure that in my country this clause covers all the cases where an explicit "Give Way" sign has not been installed. Moreover, I assume that many other European countries have a similar clause in the traffic code. So, hold there with tearing into the Champs-Élysées...
Glad to hear it.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:51 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Grisent View Post
Not as old as that .



This was used, but it said nothing about priority.

Now these are used, and they do say things about priority:

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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:52 AM   #43
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People are talking about situations in Europe where drivers just go straight into a main road, but I have never seen this, and it's rare, as generally there would either be a stop or a give way sign
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Old December 9th, 2010, 03:46 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
So, does that mean that in every single intersection, one of the roads has either yield or stop signs? What about a large, suburban grid neighbourhood where all the streets have equal weight? Like this one, what's the rule here?
This example is actually interesting - a friend of mine who spent a year working in California mentioned that there are uncontrolled intersections there in such residential areas. I'm not sure what the locals do there - of course, the common sense is priority-from-the-right, but I'm actually curious (didn't have a chance to ask my friend).

However, as Penn's Woods said, in many parts of North America all intersections are indeed controlled. For example, in Toronto there are many residential grids like the one you linked to, and they are all controlled. Most of the time using four-way stops, but sometimes using regular stop signs. Don't think I ever saw a yield sign being used (unfortunately, but that's a different topic of discussion).

As I mentioned before, we do have the priority-from-the-right rule by default (as any person who passed his driver's theory exam in Ontario should know), but I've never seen it applied here (because all intersections are controlled), and because we don't have signs like the yellow diamond, applying this rule would be dangerous. But then again, I cannot say for sure whether we have any uncontrolled junctions, since I obviously have not driven on all roads in Ontario. I would guess that some extremely remote (perhaps unpaved) roads could be in that situation, where the locals probably simply use caution.

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Originally Posted by urbanlover View Post
For intersecting traffic it isn't always clear. Since I can't read minds I have no idea if this person pulled into traffic because didn't see that the cross street didn't have a stop sign, but a more visable sign indicating priorty would be helpful.

This video is a simple example of driver error - there was a stop sign there, and the driver in fact stopped, but for some reason decided to pull directly into traffic without yielding (probably because the oncoming van momentarily blocked the view and the driver decided to jump through).

The only problem with the video is the fact that both roads have a high speed limit. I wonder if there was proper advance warning ahead of time, since I have had cases driving in Ontario before (in the dark) where a stop sign kind of surprised me on a road with an 80 km/h limit.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 04:32 AM   #45
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To tell the truth, we do have four-way stops in Philadelphia - lots of them in residential areas. I don't know what the law is (don't tell the police I said that!), but if someone was there before me I'll stop; if he or she hesitates, I'll motion to go ahead. If I'm already stopped when someone else arrives, I'll look at them to make sure they're yielding to me, and proceed.

And there was an uncontrolled intersection on my driving test 30 years ago. But I don't know how one would know an intersection's uncontrolled since you can't see the signage on the other roads. I wonder if they even exist any more, because I can't make them make sense. If I'm bored later, I'll research the legality of such things. Or just ask at aaroads.com/forums.

RE the video: what kind of place has 119th Street intersecting 53d Street? That's just silly. Unless one of them's really an avenue. Don't we have someone on this board who's from Wichita and can explain?

Last edited by Penn's Woods; December 9th, 2010 at 04:38 AM.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 06:10 AM   #46
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Well, the four-way stops here are very common and the behaviour is not ambiguous. Everyone comes to (almost) a complete stop (even if no one else is coming) and whoever stops first, goes first. Of course, sometimes it may be ambiguous during heavy traffic, in which case officially the priority-from-the-right rule is supposed to be applied, but in practice, in this rare case, people just carefully look at each other and it somehow works out. It's not at all a major problem because unlike the cases in Europe where the priority-from-the-right rule is applied, in this case everyone is stopped.

This is a video I made a few months ago, where, immediately after the left turn at the light, you can see a typical street in Toronto with many all way stops (although, traffic was light at that time so no real conflicting traffic appeared):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paI429viEXE#t=0m12s
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Old December 9th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #47
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In Greece we have triangle priority signs; i dont remember seen a yellow diamond sign. Probably we havent such signs
No we have got them. You may see them mainly attached on traffic lights in order to show priority when they are off and also on other major roads (mainly in cities and towns - but not extensively and following a general rule); in the latter case they are usually just after the junction to confirm entrance to a major road.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
This is what I meant about there being ambiguity when there's no basic rule, and the "can't see the signs on the other road" part is precisely what the diamond priority sign is for: It lets you know that you do in fact have priority and all crossing traffic will have to yield.

People may be able to figure it out among themselves if nobody knows who should yield, but legally it's unclear. I mean, if you have an accident at an uncontrolled intersection is there a box on the insurance form for "shit happens" and the blame gets distributed equally?
Believe me, I see your point. (And when you Google "uncontrolled intersections" you come up with lots of insurance companies and lawyers discussing that very issue. Not so much what to do at uncontrolled intersections rather than are they by their nature unsafe.) But uncontrolled intersections really are extremely rare here. At least, as far as I can tell (!). So the issue hadn't occurred to me until this discussion.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 10:36 PM   #49
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North American 'controlled' intersections are not necessarily the same as those elsewhere. I know in the UK - just about every yield/give-way/stop command features the appropriate sign(s) aswell as detailed accompanying road markings for each sitation. If there's no sign (usually for inconsquential urban side streets where priority is obvious such as coming to a T junction, the road markings are still there). Yield controls usually feature the sign painted on the road surface too. I've come across many roads in NA which simply feature a stop sign at the corner but no road marking, especially at crossroads.

Also in many cases where 4-way stops are used in NA, particularly in residential areas, mini-roundabouts would be used here.

Roads here are very over-engineered when it comes to the amount of signage and the variety and levels of use of painted road markings compared to NA. But that would be much more of a burden there considering the much larger land area, spread of cities and often lower traffic density
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Old December 9th, 2010, 11:51 PM   #50
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North American 'controlled' intersections are not necessarily the same as those elsewhere. I know in the UK - just about every yield/give-way/stop command features the appropriate sign(s) aswell as detailed accompanying road markings for each sitation. If there's no sign (usually for inconsquential urban side streets where priority is obvious such as coming to a T junction, the road markings are still there). Yield controls usually feature the sign painted on the road surface too. I've come across many roads in NA which simply feature a stop sign at the corner but no road marking, especially at crossroads.

Also in many cases where 4-way stops are used in NA, particularly in residential areas, mini-roundabouts would be used here.

Roads here are very over-engineered when it comes to the amount of signage and the variety and levels of use of painted road markings compared to NA. But that would be much more of a burden there considering the much larger land area, spread of cities and often lower traffic density

In many UK roads, there are only give way lines and no signs, especially on residential roads, including when they meet large roads.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
In many UK roads, there are only give way lines and no signs, especially on residential roads, including when they meet large roads.
Yes but they'd have give way markings at the least, and usually a painted give way triange on the road just before the junction to indicate so
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Old December 10th, 2010, 04:09 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Don't know about the UK, but in the US, intersections are controlled by stop signs (or lights and so on), and when one road at an intersection with stop signs is clearly less important than the other one, the less important road is the one that has to stop.
The European priority-to-the-right concept is completely unknown here.
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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
How then do you clarify priority, what's the rule? Is the driver expected to know which road is the major and which is the minor and assume priority based on that? It all seems a little ambiguous..
If it's a 4-way intersection with all directions required to stop, whoever gets there first has priority. If two vehicles stop there at the same time, the less courteous driver will continue. If not all directions are required to stop, then the directions that do not have to stop have priority.

If a "minor" street intersects a "major" street without a stop sign, the stop sign is missing. Simplest way to tell a "minor" from "major" street is width and/or lines on the pavement (since minor streets are typically more narrow with no lines)

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The system is simple and effective: Priority to the right is the base rule. On top of that you can have yield and stop signs, but then you also need the priority sign because you can't expect the driver to hunt around for yield signs at every intersection to see if they have priority. In my driving exam I had to learn about the different "levels" of priority rules, and I assume others in continental Europe too have learned this: The base rule, then the next level is signs, then traffic lights, and on top of that a police/traffic officer can override all that by directing traffic manually.
Same here, except there are almost no intersections with no signage whatsoever, and if there are any, they are in the sort of empty place where the chance that two cars will get there at the same time is essentially nil.

Quote:
Roundabouts are just roads going in a ring and the same base rule applies to them: priority to the right, i.e. traffic entering. But, most countries have overriding rules specifically for roundabouts that say traffic inside it has priority. Some don't though, like France, but nearly all roundabouts have yield signs.
I think we all know roundabouts are rare in the States, but where you do find them, entering traffic always gets a yield sign so priority goes to traffic within the circle.

Quote:
The much dreaded Arc de Triomphe doesn't, but I guess "European city driving rules" apply there: Just dive in, sound your horn at every maneuver, be aggressive and hope for the best.
DO NOT DRIVE LIKE THIS IN AMERICA. You will crash and die a fiery, painful death. Not to mention making an ass of yourself for using your horn in anything other than a life-threatening situation.

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Originally Posted by TheCat View Post
The only problem with the video is the fact that both roads have a high speed limit. I wonder if there was proper advance warning ahead of time, since I have had cases driving in Ontario before (in the dark) where a stop sign kind of surprised me on a road with an 80 km/h limit.
In my area, that's a rare circumstance, but it does happen: we use a pictorial "stop sign ahead" sign often, and with higher speed limits, rumble strips in the pavement (raised ones, just extra-thick white paint, instead of the ones dug into the pavement like on the edges of Interstate highways). Also occasionally you'll see a flashing red light.

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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
So, does that mean that in every single intersection, one of the roads has either yield or stop signs? What about a large, suburban grid neighbourhood where all the streets have equal weight? Like this one, what's the rule here?
Stop signs all around.

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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
To tell the truth, we do have four-way stops in Philadelphia - lots of them in residential areas. I don't know what the law is (don't tell the police I said that!), but if someone was there before me I'll stop; if he or she hesitates, I'll motion to go ahead. If I'm already stopped when someone else arrives, I'll look at them to make sure they're yielding to me, and proceed.
In Virginia, the law says that nobody has the right of way til someone gives it to someone else, by way of a wave, blink the high-beams if necessary, etc.
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Last edited by nerdly_dood; December 10th, 2010 at 04:37 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 04:19 AM   #53
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I think the yellow diamond would be very useful in the UK incase of traffic light failure or any roadwork taking place. These signs would only apply in this particular case. You could also have a give way red triangle with a traffic light image in the middle to show that if the lights are not working and you should give way. Not sure if I make any sense here.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 04:33 AM   #54
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I think the yellow diamond would be very useful in the UK incase of traffic light failure or any roadwork taking place. These signs would only apply in this particular case. You could also have a give way red triangle with a traffic light image in the middle to show that if the lights are not working and you should give way. Not sure if I make any sense here.
If an American traffic light is not working:

BEST case scenario (meaning it's just been turned off for some reason) you'll have a flashing red light for the secondarier road, meaning the same as a stop sign, and a flashing yellow light for the primarier road, meaning approximately the same thing as any other yellow flashing light: Caution. It does NOT mean Yield, since they do have priority, but still indicates "situation ahead less than ideal".

If there is any substantial traffic this will turn into a total cluster****, but in some places, traffic lights are turned "off" (as described above) at night since there's just not enough traffic to justify having some traffic in all directions stop and wait for a green light when there is no traffic to wait for.

WORSE case scenario we call in the police to direct traffic.

WORST case scenario (meaning, seriously, BAD) the road is closed.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 04:57 AM   #55
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In my area, that's a rare circumstance, but it does happen: we use a pictorial "stop sign ahead" sign often, and with higher speed limits, rumble strips in the pavement (raised ones, just extra-thick white paint, instead of the ones dug into the pavement like on the edges of Interstate highways). Also occasionally you'll see a flashing red light.
Yeah, we use the "stop sign ahead" sign as well. Pavement markings aren't always used though, although I have seen them in Ontario (the word STOP repeated several times at regular intervals before the stop sign). The flashing red light is also used here, although ironically I often see it on relatively low-risk residential intersections, but don't think I ever did on higher speed roads.

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In Virginia, the law says that nobody has the right of way til someone gives it to someone else, by way of a wave, blink the high-beams if necessary, etc.
Are you referring to all way stops, or uncontrolled intersections? In either case, that is quite bizarre I would say.

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If an American traffic light is not working ...
In Ontario, the default rule when a traffic light is not working is to treat the intersection as if there are 4-way stop signs. Whoever stops first, goes first.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 11:36 AM   #56
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In Norway these are everywhere:



They right of way rule in Norway has got to be the stupidest road rule I can think of anywhere, all it does is cause confucion and stop start traffic.

The real problem in Norway is that the concept of major and minor roads don't appear to exist.

Last edited by KiwiRob; December 10th, 2010 at 11:47 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 11:02 PM   #57
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yellow diamond priority signs not used in Australia - here people might confuse them with yellow diamond group of warning signs. But priority/non-priority signs is not classified as warnings as they are statements. We don't have priority/non-priority system here, give way signs, stops signs and lights do the trick I guess.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 01:51 PM   #58
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The rule isn't stupid, but the use (or lack of) priority/yield signage may be. There is no confusion unless one don't understand the rules, in which case they shouldn't have been given a driver's license.
You're forgetting that it isn't just Norwegians who drive in Norway, there are loads of others especially in summer (Dutch and Germans spring to mind) who are confused by this daft road rule.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 05:13 AM   #59
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Yeah, we use the "stop sign ahead" sign as well. Pavement markings aren't always used though, although I have seen them in Ontario (the word STOP repeated several times at regular intervals before the stop sign). The flashing red light is also used here, although ironically I often see it on relatively low-risk residential intersections, but don't think I ever did on higher speed roads.
Higher speed roads typically use a traffic light, but in the rare case of a stop sign, they use a REALLY BIG stop sign, maybe even two, with several sets of rumble strips and a "stop sign ahead" sign. Flashing red traffic lights are generally used on suburban streets, but like I've said, some cities turn the traffic lights on certain sections of their roads to flashing yellow for high priority and flashing red for low priority.

Quote:
Are you referring to all way stops, or uncontrolled intersections? In either case, that is quite bizarre I would say.
That's just what they tell us in driver's ed class, that's not really how it works in practice - whoever stops first goes first. I'd guess it would mainly apply to uncontrolled intersections, but the number of those are so very few that it's not really useful to mention.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #60
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The rule is the same in most of Europe.
But in most of Europe they apply the rule with a little common sense, unlike Norway where most of the time it makes no sense at all, stopping smoothly flowing traffic to allow cars in from your right is daft, it's counter intuitive, stop start traffic is not desirable.
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