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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 16:15 
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If transposed to the left in the UK, could this provide a benefit here?

Does anyone have enough experience to offer an informed opinion?

A yellow diamond and a black outline called ‘Priorite a droit’, causes confusion to some UK drivers and can be very dangerous if you are not paying attention!

When you see it the following applies:

If you are driving along a road, anyone who wishes to join the road on your right hand side has priority over you!
Even if you are travelling at speed you are required to give way to traffic entering from the right hand side!

When this rule ends you will see the same sign with a black line going through it to state the rule no longer applies.

The thing is, French drivers EXPECT the rule to be followed, so when they approach a junction, and see a vehicle approaching from a side road, they also expect to have to slow down and for the approaching vehicle to exit.
Thus, drivers in side roads are not stranded by traffic on busy main roads.

On motorways, drivers in the outer lanes have to give way to slower vehicles who find themselves having to pull out to pass traffic even slower than them in the inside lanes - usually HGVs or caravans! Camper vans often go like the clappers!

This removes the need some drivers feel to remain in the middle lane for long periods, in case they cannot get out to pass slower traffic - all that happens, is that when you encounter a slower vehicle, you indicate and pull out - the following driver while maybe not happy, expects this!

Exiting from a slip road onto a motorway? No problem - indicate and pull out - following drivers expect this too.

I can see why introducing it here would be a problem, because existing drivers are NOT used to it, and many would need time to adapt - but would it be worht that initial transitional period where there would be waving of fists?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 19:29 
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I have always thought that this French system flies in the face of commonsense. The French are moving away from it, I believe.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 00:47 
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They are - because as roads have got busier, drivers are starting to ignore it, in favour of making progress!
However, the principle has some merit if applied reasonably - such as traffic joining from on ramps, and changing lanes as I mentioned.

Personally, I think it is too late to ever introduce the principle into the UK, as most drivers are too self centred and not open to change in a quick enough period of time to make the jump safely.

The same would apply to driving on the right instead of the left - if it were to be done, it should have been done years ago when there was less traffic.

I believe Sweden make the transition overnight, and initially accidents dropped - but I don't think that would happen now!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 08:50 
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Ernest Marsh wrote:
I believe Sweden make the transition overnight, and initially accidents dropped - but I don't think that would happen now!
I'm not so sure Ernest. Did anyone see this from 2009?

"Samoa has become the first country since the 1970s to change the side of the road on which cars are driven.

At 0600 local time (1700 GMT) sirens sounded and drivers were told to move from the right side to the left.

Police said that no accidents had been reported in the first hours after the switch in the island nation despite predictions of chaos from critics.

The government brought about the change to bring Samoa into line with other South Pacific countries.

A two-day holiday was declared to ease traffic as people got used to the new rules. A three-day ban on alcohol sales was also introduced to deter accidents. "

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:09 
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Priorite a Droit ncan be lethal, especially if you are unused to it - people literally just pull straight out on you, usually wirthout even looking.

Ernest Marsh wrote:
I believe Sweden make the transition overnight, and initially accidents dropped - but I don't think that would happen now!


I did have a brief look into Sweden for my own amusement (hey, I'm a fun guy) and found this...


In 1955 a national referendum was held and there was strong campaigning from both sides. Right side campaigners used rational arguments based on facts, like safer overtaking. The "lefties" played on people's long-time habits and emotions; "Do you want to see your mother killed?"

Why would 'right side' campaigners state that overtaking is safer if driving on the right? Me no understand :?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:15 
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DoktorMandrake wrote:
Why would 'right side' campaigners state that overtaking is safer if driving on the right? Me no understand :?

Although they drove on the left, most Swedes prior to the switchover used left hand drive cars.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:28 
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The situation in Sweden regarding left/right in not really relevant to us. They have long land borders with countries who drive on the right which caused a lot of confusion. We are an island and, like Japan (another island), drive on the left.

The priority from the right (or left in our case) would have been fine in the days of men with red flags but would be lethal now. The business of having to let cars joining a motorway into your lane would be a recipe for either gridlock or mayhem on the main carriageway. Can you imagine a car joining from a slip road and asserting their priority to go straight to the outside lane! This is why all French major roads are conventional priority.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 13:06 
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Thanks for clearing that up, Peter.

Agreed, Malcolm. Such practice is lethal enough on the continent. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 06:35 
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malcolmw wrote:
The priority from the right (or left in our case) would have been fine in the days of men with red flags but would be lethal now. The business of having to let cars joining a motorway into your lane would be a recipe for either gridlock or mayhem on the main carriageway. Can you imagine a car joining from a slip road and asserting their priority to go straight to the outside lane! This is why all French major roads are conventional priority.


The present situation also has the potential for locking up traffic on the minor roads for long periods of time, potentially forever. Trying to join a major road, at rush hour, when the traffic is travelling at NSL with only a few car lengths between, - either means waiting until the end of the rush hour or behaing with a degree of aggression version on the dangerous.

But the answer isn't to go to the French system. Rather, as we have discussed else where, it would be better to abandon the idea of strict priority and show the same consideration to other motorists that we apply to others in our non motoring life.

The "four way stop" as used in America is a good example of what I mean,

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 09:58 
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I'm not at all keen on the French system and ESPECIALLY if not applied uniformly. Over the years, I've seen it used less and less as speeds have increased on main roads. It's (to my mind) pretty barmy. I can see the attraction of reducing congestion and waiting times on minor roads, but only at the expense of moving that to the major roads. With traffic densities such as we often see in the UK, I can imagine huge snarl-ups on major roads as someone brakes to let someone out from the right and (because they're all driving too close together) the possibility of , at best, the traffic a few hundred yards behind grinding to a complete halt and at worst, a pile-up.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:19 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
The present situation also has the potential for locking up traffic on the minor roads for long periods of time, potentially forever. Trying to join a major road, at rush hour, when the traffic is travelling at NSL with only a few car lengths between, - either means waiting until the end of the rush hour or behaing with a degree of aggression version on the dangerous.

Realistically that's a very unlikely scenario, though - either gaps appear, or the weight of traffic means it slows down and someone lets the joiner in.

It probably only happens to any extent on some busy, fast dual carriageways (like maybe the A38 between Lichfield and Derby) which still have side roads joining via T-junctions.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 13:08 
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I would agree the system now only worked/works in low traffic densities and speeds - but that is due to to so many drivers being either arrogant or obstinate, and unprepared to give even a modicum of their time to allow someone out of a minor road!

In Gurnsey, it still works well with no Priorite a droit style rules - just a degree of politeness not found on the mainland - but then their traffic volume is less than ours.

All that is really required to make Priorite a droite work anywhere is a higher degree of manners and consideration than exists on our roads today... yet there is no national campaign from government with that aim in mind!

It was interesting that while in France over the past two weeks, in 2500 miles of motoring, I saw numerous vehicles drive down the on ramp, at a reasonable speed to expect to join the carriageway - only for the drivers to be deterred by traffic in lane one failing to yield even slightly, or pull out into an empty lane two, so the joining drivers then slowed rather than risk pulling out.

In the past, they would have gone for it - and the drivers in lane 1 would have been OK with that!
It seemed to me that their standards are declining in the same manner as ours as car ownership increases, and people no longer view it as a privilege, with resposibilities.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 17:49 
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http://www.toytowngermany.com/lofi/inde ... 04707.html


It exists in Germany.. Austria and Switzerland.

Germans had lots of "fun" when it was first introduced though . apparently.

I do not have a problem with it. But then giving the average British "hoon forum" reactions to "zip merging" chats .... :popcorn:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 14:59 
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It is definitely alive and well in the French provinces. My auntie lives in a tiny hilltop village near Montpellier and people joining the main road will do so without even glancing. I wouldn't necessarily say this is great driving practice. Priorite a Droit only works, like anything else, with a degree of awareness rather than blind expectation.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 01:59 
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Taking any type of junction or slip road as clear just from a 'known right' is pretty foolhardy, as most surely use their instinct to check and to 'be sure' ?
We can never ever assume on the road ... I am 'allowed' to assume priority over those to my right on a roundabout but this does not happen when the road to my right is a fast moving main road as they enter the roundabout so fast that I might cause an accident were I to 'just pull out'.
If of course everyone did 'just pull out' then that 'right' traffic would learn never to assume it is safe to proceed at that speed.
But it would equally be wrong to assume the road was clear and safe without looking or checking - surely!
:scratchchin:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 09:13 
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You would think so! In my experience this is not always the case.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 21:16 
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dcbwhaley wrote:

But the answer isn't to go to the French system. Rather, as we have discussed else where, it would be better to abandon the idea of strict priority and show the same consideration to other motorists that we apply to others in our non motoring life.


For once we agree . I use the principle of let one out in front .Don't slow me down much ,but certainly clears jams ( which IMHO) are a result of non courteous driving .
But I have no time for the "force the way out driver" ,although in our country it's becoming the norm with "myopic drivers" ,for whom the second or two it takes to be courteous is too much .
Don't forget ,a lot of driving etiquette comes from days of yore - as in a car descending a hill giving way to one going up - as in olden days a car( or more importantly a truck/lorry) once stopped had great difficulty geting going up the hill .

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 23:26 
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as in olden days a car( or more importantly a truck/lorry) once stopped had great difficulty geting going up the hill .


Reminds me of a story told to me by my much older step brother. In the bad snows of 1963, my step brother was driving a lorry with my father up a single track hill. Some bright spark coming down in a car refused to back up, expecting them to reverse all the way down. my father told my brother to lock up the lorry and leave it where it was and start walking back to the depot. That soon got the guy who thought he owned the road cos he lived up there to see reason.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 23:44 
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graball wrote:
Quote:
as in olden days a car( or more importantly a truck/lorry) once stopped had great difficulty geting going up the hill .


Reminds me of a story told to me by my much older step brother. In the bad snows of 1963, my step brother was driving a lorry with my father up a single track hill. Some bright spark coming down in a car refused to back up, expecting them to reverse all the way down. my father told my brother to lock up the lorry and leave it where it was and start walking back to the depot. That soon got the guy who thought he owned the road cos he lived up there to see reason.

:o -ALWAYS WORKS . We used this tactic on single track roads in te summer with visitors from dan saf - who couln't/didn't know how to reverse a few yards ,yet expected us to reverse van round blind corner . We got out te flasc & sarnies . Worked most times . My father was worse - he met one bloke who stated that he couldn't reverse ( in a village) . Dad's response was that they should wait a few minutes for local plod ,he'd passed on patrol roun corner and inform Plod he'd found a driver that could not reverse - minutes later , car got moved ,backwards .

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