November 18, 2004

'Priority working' traffic calming

Twice a day on weekdays I drive through Coat-of-Arms Bridge Road in Stivichall. The section which joins it to the Kenilworth Road has two 'Priority working' sections – room for one lane of traffic only and a large sign depicting who has right of way. Usually this works well and people seem to understand it and use the system courteously. There seem to be a small proportion of people who don't understand the system, but they are few and far between. However, there are another small group of people who understand it but deliberately flought it. This happens to me on average twice a week, as it did this morning. I am driving at the designated speed and start to move toward the middle of the road to move into the single-lane section. The driver coming towards me decides to speed up and rush through, forcing me to stop. I have no desire to provoke a road-rage incident (which part of 'Give Way' don't you understand) but I do wonder what would happen if I didn't back down and stop but continued. We would meet in the middle of the single lane and have to break suddenly. If there were an incident like that and two vehicles collided (I am sure it has happened on those systems) I wonder if they would automatically be a fault legally since it was my right of way.

- 4 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Yep I have seen the remnants of a couple of cars colliding head-on at one of these sections. Blocked the road for quite a while too whilst the two cars were extracted from one another.

    I would suspect that the one with the right of way is innocent….but in my experience you just never know.

    I watched one woman (who had right of way) in front of me position her car to indicate to the oncoming vehicle she intended to go through, and the oncoming vehicle (a bus!) was having none of it and made her stop by charging onwards. Playing chicken with a bus is probably best avoided.

    Ah… maybe this is why these systems were created!? To allow people to play chicken at low speeds? :-)

    18 Nov 2004, 12:00

  2. These build outs, pinch-points and chicanes are the product of the traffic planners in County Hall – and are some of the best arguments for abolishing the whole department.

    18 Nov 2004, 12:16

  3. Steven Carpenter

    That's on my route home every night, and nearly every night that happens to me too, usually accompanied by a 'universal hand-signal'.

    18 Nov 2004, 14:43

  4. Legally the other person would be at fault, but you could be held partly responsible for the accident if you weren't driving slowly enough to stop in time.

    And of course, for your next car insurance premium, there's always the question "Have you been involved in any accidents in the last 3/5 years, regardless of fault?", a fact which always irritates me through the possibility that I could lose a lot of money through somebody else's stupidity (especially if they happened to be driving uninsured, etc. rant rant rant!).

    20 Nov 2004, 17:01

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