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 Post subject: 2012 More imortant signs
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:18 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:11 pm
Posts: 415
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
This next one’s important, and it applies all over Europe. It can cause more trouble than you might think, especially for American drivers, who aren’t used to it.
IMG_5707.jpg [ 246.19 KiB | Viewed 1204 times ]

You’ll usually see this sign along major highways. It means you are on a “priority” road, i.e., you don’t have to yield to traffic that is intersecting your road; instead, if the intersection is not controlled by a traffic light or a sign of some sort, you can drive through the intersection as if the other vehicles did have a stop sign.

And, after you’ve been driving in Europe and seen lots of black diagonal slashes on signs, you know that this one
means you are on a “non-priority” road. Usually, you’ll see it on a highway that formerly had had priority status but has had that status suspended in a built-up area.
IMG_5708.JPG [ 145.32 KiB | Viewed 1204 times ]

So what’s the big deal about non-priority roads? It’s this: when you’re on a non-priority road you are required to yield the right-of-way to any traffic entering your road from your righthand side.

The point of this practice, I’m told, is to reduce the speed of all traffic in a built-up area by making all drivers, regardless of the nature of the road they’re on, come to a stop when a vehicle approaches from their right (again, intersections controlled by traffic lights or some other signage are an exception).

One problem with this practice is that the poor driver--usually American--busily trying to cope with city traffic, pedestrians at crosswalks, signage in a foreign language, traffic signals in unfamiliar locations at intersections, etc., now has yet another thing to notice and keep track of: “Now I’m non-priority . . . OK, now I’m priority again . . . [crash] . . . oops, I guess I missed that last non-priority notice. . . .”

Another problem is that the whole system depends on every driver at an intersection knowing the “priority” status of every other driver’s roadway. If I’m on a non-priority road when I approach an intersection, my success at avoiding a collision may depend on whether I know the “priority” status of the guy approaching the intersection from my left: if (I know) the other road has priority, I yield; if (I know) it does not, I don’t; but (here’s the kicker) if I think I know but I’m wrong, there’s a 50-50 chance I’ll be pulling into the intersection in front of a driver who wasn’t planning to stop.

Happy motoring.

Rover 2002 24ft RB

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