Overtaking on Chevrons/Juntions

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Postby SinkyB » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:05 pm


After having a near miss a few days ago, I thought I’d put up a post about one of my pet hates .. people who overtake on chevrons, especially at busy junctions!! .. Although this happened to me whilst in my car, I’d hate to think what might have happened if I was on the bike.

The junction near my work is a very wide clear chevron marked junction on the main A9 trunk road with excellent visibility in all directions, but it is unbelievable how many near misses there are due to people overtaking at the junction and over the chevrons.
On my daily commute to work the other day, it was my turn to have a near miss at this junction myself (no fault of my own), it was a clear morning, good visibility, damp roads but no spray. As usual I did my IPSGA on the approach to the junction, saw that everything was clear, indicated, braked and positioned my car in the right turn filter lane and had to stop in the lane due to oncoming traffic. Whilst I was stopped in the middle filter lane waiting to turn right (with dipped headlights on and indicator flashing) an oncoming driver decided to use the filter lane to overtake and started to move out to overtake and it was only at the very last second she actually realised that I was sitting there waiting to turn. I couldn’t take evasive action to the left or right due to traffic approaching from ahead and behind, so all I could do was sit there and hope .. and by some miracle she managed to swerve back on to her own side of the road, but just missed the front of my car by inches .. I actually doubt if she would have seen me at all if I was on the bike .. It was obvious she was on autopilot behind the wheel and just not taking into account what was happening around her, she just seemed to see a wide section of road and just went for it!!

Although this could have become a very serious situation, I did manage to find some slight amusement in the other drivers facial expression .. she basically looked at me as if wondering why I was there and as if I was in the wrong!!

As a rule of thumb, I don’t overtake on chevrons unless I’m after the point of turn (leaving the junction) and only then if I’m overtaking a slow moving vehicle such as a tractor or digger etc (and obviously only if the chevrons are bordered by broken lines and if safe to do so etc etc).

I’m curious to see what others think of overtaking on chevrons, what are your opinions and what are your thoughts on the legal side of it as rule 130 of the highway code only states:

“Areas of white diagonal stripes or chevrons painted on the road. These are to separate traffic lanes or to protect traffic turning right.
If the area is bordered by a broken white line, you should not enter the area unless it is necessary and you can see that it is safe to do so.
If the area is marked with chevrons and bordered by solid white lines you MUST NOT enter it except in an emergency”.

Is an overtaking manoeuvre regarded as “necessary” in the eyes of the law?

What if you overtake totally on the offside of the road and don’t actually enter the chevron area, but drive/ride right around it?

Sinky
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Postby Big Err » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:22 pm


Hi Sinky,

You can cross the broken lines bounding a hatched or chevron area legally although the regulations state "should not enter unless it is seen by the driver to be safe to do so" and "should not overtake by passing through the marking unless it is seen by the driver to be safe to do so".

If it's hatching bounded by solid lines less than 1200mm wide, or hatching where it would require you to cross or drive to the right of a double white line where the line closest (nearside line) is solid you commit an offence (exceptions apply for passing stationary vehicles etc).

If its a chevron area bounded by solid lines like a motorway merge, diverge or tiger tail arrangement you commit an offence if you enter it (exception for emergencies).

Personally I prefer to keep out hatched areas due to the amount of dirt etc that builds up in them.
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Postby Gareth » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:21 pm


SinkyB wrote:an oncoming driver decided to use the filter lane to overtake and started to move out to overtake and it was only at the very last second she actually realised that I was sitting there waiting to turn.

A long main-beam flash usually awakes on-coming drivers, but you do need to be watching out for the moment the on-coming vehicle starts to move out. This is often more effective when you don't already have dipped beam on, unless your lights are in a twin-beam arrangement.

SinkyB wrote:Is an overtaking manoeuvre regarded as “necessary” in the eyes of the law?

You're looking at it from the wrong point of view. If the driver plans to overtake at a particular place then it might be necessary to drive over hatching bounded by a broken line in order to accomplish this.
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Postby PeterE » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:36 pm


There is a clear distinction between areas of hatching that are intended to protect turning traffic, and extended central hatching that is used as a kind of traffic-calming measure and to deter overtaking without specifically prohibiting it.
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Postby zadocbrown » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:41 pm


SinkyB wrote:Is an overtaking manoeuvre regarded as “necessary” in the eyes of the law?

What if you overtake totally on the offside of the road and don’t actually enter the chevron area, but drive/ride right around it?

Sinky


As I understand it the word "necessary" doesn't appear in the relevant legislation - it is added in the Highway Code as advice. So for me, there should be some justification for entering such an area but I wouldn't get hung up on the legal aspect.

The essential element is that of checking that it is safe before entering. That is what the lady in your incident appears to have fallen down on. If you hadn't been there, the overtake might have been on (after satisfactory observations).

When you think about it, these markings are usually put in areas where conflict is likely, i.e. areas you would be cautious about driving on anyway. Overtaking near a junction as in your case would require special consideration even if there was no marked refuge. If on the other hand you can be sure that the overtake is safe, then the paint doesn't change that.

All this is assuming broken border lines etc.
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Postby Standard Dave » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:40 pm


Overtaking through a junction is quite dangerous and should really only be included for experts in any training or publication due to the number of hazards and the enhanced observation required.

The actions of the other driver in this case appear to be very poor, they have failed to observe and also failed to judge the speed or position of another vehicle.

Have there been any collisions at this particular junction, some that have a similar situation have had physical obstructions put in place similar to a pedestrian refuge they physically stop a driver entering the right turn lanes.
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Postby martine » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:27 pm


How about...
here
...I regularly use it to make progress.
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Postby ROG » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:52 pm


martine wrote:How about...
here
...I regularly use it to make progress.

OR HERE - one of mine which I often use when the numpties are doing 30 in this 40 zone
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Postby Standard Dave » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:21 pm


ROG wrote:
martine wrote:How about...
here
...I regularly use it to make progress.

OR HERE - one of mine which I often use when the numpties are doing 30 in this 40 zone


The chevrons appear to be there to discourage use of the suicide corridor on that road.

I've always wondered why roads were built wide enough for 3 vehicles to pass and not just a bit more for 4 and then lined correctly to allow overtaking without conflict with on coming vehicles.
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Postby martine » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:28 pm


ROG wrote:...one of mine which I often use when the numpties are doing 30 in this 40 zone

Errr...I'm sure you're right Rog but I can't see any repeater signs... :shock:
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