Priority on slip roads

Priority on slip roads

Author
Discussion

Konrod

Original Poster:

788 posts

195 months

Wednesday 9th December 2020
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One of the many things that bug me on modern roads are the way slip roads are used, however I also wonder if the rules have changed and I've missed something.

I was taught, both originally and by various ex-police drivers and ADIs I've been with in the last 30+ years that when using:
- an on slip, you position the car for best visibility of the road you're joining, within the bounds of the lanes available, so left most on an up slip and right most on a down slip, pick the gap you are going for early (making sure it is big enough) and adjust your cars speed to join without causing any other traffic to change speed or lane. The dotted white line is a give way sign and joining traffic does not have any right of way.
- an off slip, get into the LH lane early, don't tailgate as you approach the offslip, but don't slow down/brake until you are actually on the slip road, then deal with the next hazard (roundabout, junction etc.).

The rules now seem to be that traffic on the major road is expected to move lanes to make way for joining traffic. I can't find anything that says the rules have changed but I don't see anyone policing it so perhaps I'm behind the times.

Thioughts?


PrinceRupert

10,423 posts

52 months

Wednesday 9th December 2020
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The traffic does not need to give way, but why wouldn't you?

ScoobyChris

994 posts

169 months

Wednesday 9th December 2020
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PrinceRupert said:
The traffic does not need to give way, but why wouldn't you?
Yep just common courtesy to help keep the traffic flowing and make other people's lives easier. Similar to moving out to lane 3 to assist people who are closing on a slower moving vehicle in lane 1 and will want to overtake.

Chris

Dogwatch

5,711 posts

189 months

Wednesday 9th December 2020
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Traffic volumes have increased to the point where the original slip-road "rules" simply aren't practical at times. I still vividly remember the cement mixer lorry which decided to "Give Way" at the pointy end of the slip road. Main road was busy but free flowing.


Richard-D

510 posts

31 months

Wednesday 9th December 2020
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Dogwatch said:
Traffic volumes have increased to the point where the original slip-road "rules" simply aren't practical at times. I still vividly remember the cement mixer lorry which decided to "Give Way" at the pointy end of the slip road. Main road was busy but free flowing.
I'm not sure what you are suggesting should be the case. Are you saying vehicles on the main carriageway should be required to give way to vehicles on the slip road?

MrTrilby

734 posts

249 months

Wednesday 9th December 2020
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PrinceRupert said:
The traffic does not need to give way, but why wouldn't you?
Because you might not be able to if there’s a lot of traffic already in that lane?

It is a worry how often joining traffic tends to assume it has some sort of priority to join the dual carriageway or motorway and expects existing traffic to make way without bothering to check if that’s actually possible. Joining traffic needs to moderate its speed to find the gap, not just drift across into the lane and expect people to brake around you.

Plenty of times I see cars not even bothering to look if there’s a gap or attempt to match speed - they just pull across without looking and act all surprised and angry if there’s already a car where they want to be.

PrinceRupert

10,423 posts

52 months

Wednesday 9th December 2020
quotequote all
MrTrilby said:
Because you might not be able to if there’s a lot of traffic already in that lane?

It is a worry how often joining traffic tends to assume it has some sort of priority to join the dual carriageway or motorway and expects existing traffic to make way without bothering to check if that’s actually possible. Joining traffic needs to moderate its speed to find the gap, not just drift across into the lane and expect people to brake around you.

Plenty of times I see cars not even bothering to look if there’s a gap or attempt to match speed - they just pull across without looking and act all surprised and angry if there’s already a car where they want to be.
Obviously if you cannot, you cannot. I thought that went without saying. I agree that a joining car should only join if it can do so without causing cars on the road to brake. Even if the car on the road don't move when they could, that's their slightly selfish prerogative.

Majorslow

995 posts

96 months

Wednesday 9th December 2020
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I think OP is exasperated that people just "force" their way onto the D/C or Motorway with little regard to traffic already in lane 1 who may not be able to move out into lane 2 because they are being overtaken themselves.

Best bet for less stressful approach to an "on Slip" could be anticipate that someone will "force" their way out causing you to have to slow/change direction. So observe/plan to move out into lane 2 without causing traffic behind you to have to slow/change direction. (For most of the time you can do this as you pass the "off ramp/slip road) The feeling of superiority as they do indeed force their way onto the road will give a small smirk of satisfaction that you did what you could to make the road safer for a short period of time

Most people forget that most people have not actually had formal/proper training in the use of motorways. Or have read the highway code since passing their test. It has only been in the last couple of years that driving instructors have been able to take learners onto the motorway network and educate them properly. (if they bother remembering that post test is another story) So it stands to reason that most people have no idea what they are doing on these roads, and hence others being irritated at their presence.

I find it worse for folk to force their way out in the rush hours morning/evening, and traffic on the road unwilling to "let" people on as they feel it will delay them on their commute.

I do a shed load of "fleet" training with company car drivers, and when I ask them who taught them to drive on the motorway most reply

My dad
My uncle
My mate
Myself

hence the poor joining/leaving procedure, and "middle lane hogging", cutting each other up, tailgating, etc....etc.... as I suspect these people were also self taught, and of course the longer you have had a licence, and the more expensive the car you drive, the better driver you are smile


Edited by Majorslow on Wednesday 9th December 18:09

nomis36

314 posts

131 months

Thursday 10th December 2020
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As a truck driver I get to see a lot of slip road shenanigans and have come up with the main reason for foul ups. Target lock! As an ex motorcyclist I remember one very helpful tip I was given when I was learning which was look where you want to go and you will go there (probably)
Car drivers coming down the slip road tracking the trucks then visually lock on to the trucks and can’t seem to see the truck then lock on to the gap in front and go for it or decide they haven’t got the power so back off a touch and filter in behind. Everything is left to the last second then panic braking ensues. I’ve even had irate horn blowing because I didn’t/couldn’t move over to let them on! Give way to traffic on the road you are joining is basically what the white lines at the end of the slip road means.

F20CN16

8,761 posts

165 months

Thursday 10th December 2020
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Cédez le passage!

_Hoppers

649 posts

32 months

Thursday 10th December 2020
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Konrod said:
The dotted white line is a give way sign.......
According to the Traffic Signs regs (unless I’m missing something) the dotted line is an edge of carriageway marking, see page 76.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/governmen...

Repeating what others have said, vehicles on the road you are joining have priority (not a right of way) but why wouldn’t you modify your position/speed to allow others to safely join the dual/motorway? The Highway Code says “The rules in The Highway Code do not give you the right of way in any circumstance, but they advise you when you should give way to others. Always give way if it can help to avoid an incident.” and

“Rule 144
You MUST NOT

drive dangerously
drive without due care and attention
drive without reasonable consideration for other road users.”

With particular attention to the last sentence in the first quote and last rule in 144, I think drivers on the main carriageway have a responsibility to allow other vehicles to safely merge. It’s a bugbear of mine when people say it’s the sole onus of the driver on the slip to merge and assume the dotted lines are give way markings and apply similarly to give ways at T junctions etc.

Konrod

Original Poster:

788 posts

195 months

Thursday 10th December 2020
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Lots of interesting comments here. In my original post I wasn't implying that I rigidly stay in lane 1 to enforce my rights, it is my interest to move out approaching a junction and avoid any risk of collision. The problem is as the HGV driver stated, when lorries (as an example) are forced out into lane 2 (which may be the outside lane) which then adds risk to everyone else. I can see how busy periods are less clear cut

The fact the responses vary does underline, I think, that there isn't a single "method" we all agree on, which is probably why I see so many "nearly" incidents. Out of interest, what method do driving instructors teach?

Interesting that the dotted white line is an edge of carriageway marker - if that were the case, then it would be solid as are edge of carriageway markers where there isn't a junction. At any other urban junction, the dotted white line is a give way indication (usually give way to the right) and I don't see why that would be any different at the end of a slip road. Surely our road markings should be consistent.

I guess I just keep driving defensively and hope I don't get tangled in someone else's incident

Pica-Pica

8,423 posts

51 months

Friday 11th December 2020
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Yup. Another issue where I wonder how on earth people seem to get themselves in such a pickle. I never seem to have trouble, whether joining, leaving or simply on the motorway when others are entering.

You basically observe ahead, plan where you want and should end up, adjust speed (you should already be at that speed or thereabouts) and slot in.

Move across in good time if the incoming slip-road is not that visible to you. If you can’t, ensure you have a gap in front that you can ease off to enlarge, or a gap behind that you can accelerate to enlarge. You may get a ‘he’s accelerating just as you are’ moment once, but you soon learn to spot those situations and avoid them.

Essentially; be visible to others, predictable and unobtrusive in your intentions and actions. You will make progress that way, and others will co-operate.


300bhp/ton

39,671 posts

157 months

Friday 11th December 2020
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PrinceRupert said:
The traffic does not need to give way, but why wouldn't you?
Because this is poor driving and often results in slowing people down in the lane you've just moved into. Not too mention most people who do this can't judge speed and distance anyhow.

_Hoppers

649 posts

32 months

Friday 11th December 2020
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Konrod said:
Surely our road markings should be consistent.
Is the dotted line at the slip the same as the give way dotted lines at T junctions though? And how does the dotted differ at for example mini roundabouts?

Some helpful reading below if you can’t work it out.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/governmen...

In the link in my original post also have a look at table 2-5, which gives a bit more clarification of the dotted lines at slip roads.

Pumpkinz

111 posts

45 months

Sunday 13th December 2020
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_Hoppers said:
Is the dotted line at the slip the same as the give way dotted lines at T junctions though? And how does the dotted differ at for example mini roundabouts?

Some helpful reading below if you can’t work it out.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/governmen...

In the link in my original post also have a look at table 2-5, which gives a bit more clarification of the dotted lines at slip roads.
Semantics...

Whether there is a specific regulation covering it, if we take your definition (and I can't be bothered to read through the traffic signs manual to find out if you are correct at this time of night) as edge of carriageway, that must also mean it is the edge of the lane. Which means that crossing the line is changing lanes. I think you'll find that changing lanes without giving priority to established traffic doesn't fall within the guidance of the highway code, and therefore at the very least could be considered careless or even dangerous driving even if there isn't a specific offence.

In other words, whether by explicit regulation or simply by extrapolation, it does indeed mean give way. That is essentially true of all broken white lines (including centre lines on single carriageway roads - you can cross them if you need to, and if it is safe to do so and will not have an undue effect on other traffic.

Iwantafusca

1,287 posts

42 months

Sunday 13th December 2020
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A lot of people don’t seem to realise you use the slip road to get up to the speed of the road you are joining!
And instead dawdle along it , then pick up speed once on the carriageway lol.

Rozzers

656 posts

42 months

Sunday 13th December 2020
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What really annoys me is that there is a huge gap in front of you (sitting on the speed limit) and another behind. Lanes 2 and 3 are busy and moving into lane 2 will cause other vehicles to have to adjust their distances by braking to compensate.

So what does the joiner do?

Matches your speed right to the end of the slip.

Day and daily, and you can usually spot by the type of car, at least 70% are either ‘excuse cars’ (its only a small car so I don't need to drive properly) or some filthy mobile living room with missing wheel trims.

If its a truck or bus I just afford them an obvious gap they usually recognise and slot in without fuss, as you cant really expect them to speed up and slow down to get into a gap, as they just cant!

I’m all for re-testing every 5 years, a different type of test for these re-sits, including theory. I dont expect everyone to be RoSPA Gold, or not to make mistakes, but a good 20% simply shouldn’t be on the road for the safety of everyone.

_Hoppers

649 posts

32 months

Sunday 13th December 2020
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Pumpkinz said:
_Hoppers said:
Is the dotted line at the slip the same as the give way dotted lines at T junctions though? And how does the dotted differ at for example mini roundabouts?

Some helpful reading below if you can’t work it out.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/governmen...

In the link in my original post also have a look at table 2-5, which gives a bit more clarification of the dotted lines at slip roads.
Semantics...

Whether there is a specific ...........................
You're probably right that it's semantics and I don't disagree with you mostly, but simply stating that the dotted lines are a give way I think can mislead people into thinking the DC/MW junction should be treated in the same way as for example a T junction. I see comments from people saying they do not need to offer consideration (ie by changing lane or modifying speed) to allow those wanting to join a carriageway and it's the sole responsibility for the joining vehicle to 'fit in', because it's a 'give way'. This is the bugbear of mine and it's a belligerent attitude that doesn't help anybody.

If you haven't looked at table 2-5 the dotted line to slip is described as-

"Edge of carriageway at a road junction when a Give Way or Stop marking is not appropriate (i.e. at a lane diverge or merge), or exit from a private drive onto a public road, or at a lay‑by (not to be used at a priority road junction where a Give Way or STOP marking should be used; see Chapter 3)"

Semantics or not the regs do differentiate between a Give Way and lane diverge/merge.

Muddle238

2,642 posts

80 months

Sunday 13th December 2020
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Slip road etiquette in general seems to be sub standard, my main bug bear is when in a convoy of joining vehicles, it’s almost inevitable that an impatient driver further back treats the slip road like a section of NASCAR track, getting right up close to the car ahead and sometimes even alongside them to the offside. It’s such a careless act and shows a complete lack of restraint and courtesy, they’ve positioned themselves in a closing gap unnecessarily and completely shafted the merging plans of the car ahead.