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To have waited for the green arrow at the traffic lights before turning right?

(33 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Wed 17-Jul-13 18:19:45

I have only been driving for a short time so I would like to be corrected if need be.
I was at a crossroads today and I wanted to turn right. I was at the front of the queue.I normally wait for the green arrow rather than the green light and it sometimes can be a bit slow.
Anyway I waited but no green arrow and there was oncoming traffic coming towards me at the green light. It was taking some time then the man behind me got out of his car and asked if I was ok as I had missed two green lights.
I couldn't be bothered to argue and just turned right at the next green light but I still thought the normal procedure was to wait for the green arrow unless there is no oncoming traffic at a green light when turning
Trouble is I have been honked once or twice whilst waiting for this green arrow so I guess it's one of those traffic rules that noone abides be?

Euphemia Wed 17-Jul-13 19:17:10

I don't understand how you could miss two green lights, given that you'd be out in the junction waiting to turn right, wouldn't you? Then when your green light turned red, you'd be in the way of traffic coming from your right!


superstarheartbreaker Wed 17-Jul-13 19:23:33

Ok so now I know; green arrow definately go (it is a filter).
Green light; wait for a gap and go.
Just as I suspected.

Trouble is there was no safe gap to turn right so not sure what he was banging on about. Must be the heat!

superstarheartbreaker Wed 17-Jul-13 19:24:43

Must make it clear that it is a very small crossroads with no real safe waiting place in the middle . On a larger crossroads I would wait nearer the centre.

Euphemia Wed 17-Jul-13 19:26:36

Maybe there were chancey gaps i.e. gaps a more experienced/confident driver would have taken?

SpottyTeacakes Wed 17-Jul-13 19:28:20

Is your indicator light working? wink

trinity0097 Wed 17-Jul-13 19:29:54

I failed my 'mock' driving test by doing exactly what the OP did. If it is safe to go and the light is green then a round green means go in any direction, unless there is a special signal for the lane turning with a red light on it.

wanderings Wed 17-Jul-13 19:57:12

You'd still wait in the middle to turn right, even at a small crossroads (if you are the first one there.) A waiting place is not always marked. You only have to wait back behind the line if there is a green arrow for ahead or left, and a red light for turning right. If you are the second or third car there, you should only wait in the middle if there is space for your car. Some small crossroads only have enough room for one car to wait in the middle; but that one car really must move to the middle when they have a green!

It might be that you have to wait in the middle for a solid stream of oncoming traffic, with no gap until the lights change again, perhaps 20 or 30 cars. This is normal.

If the lights then turn to amber while you are in the middle (you may or may not see the lights then), you may still turn. When your lights go amber, so do the ones facing the oncoming traffic, so they will have to stop. So you should go as soon as you see the oncoming traffic slowing down to stop.

(Not wanting to scare you, but very very occasionally it can happen that a car gets stuck in the middle; they are still there after the lights have changed, and the other road now has a green light. This can happen if:
- Some of the traffic coming towards you disobeys their red light.
- Pedestrians cross the road you intend to turn into; you of course have to give way to them, as you are turning.
- You are too slow to move off from the middle after the lights have changed to amber, and the oncoming traffic has stopped.
It is very rare to get stuck like that; if it happens, keep the car ready to move, and go as soon as you can. Be careful if you have to cross more than one lane of traffic.)

wanderings Wed 17-Jul-13 19:58:50

The person who spoke to you was referring to that moment when the lights go amber, and by then you would be in the middle; that's the moment you're supposed to turn, before the other road gets green.

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