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Giving Way

Giving way at Intersections

What is an intersection?

An intersection is where:

  • two or more streets or roads join or cross
  • a public entrance or exit joins a street or road.

Intersections include entrances to and exits from supermarkets, petrol stations and other public parking areas, such as airports and hospitals.

There are a number of different types of intersections, depending on how many roads meet at the intersection.

Picture of a + intersection Picture of a Y intersectionPicture of a T intersection

Different kinds of intersections

Driving up to an intersection

If any other vehicle is approaching or crossing an intersection, do not speed up when approaching. As you drive up to an intersection, use the system of car control. This method helps you deal with hazards safely.

  • Course of action (look ahead for a safe and legal path).
  • Mirrors (look behind and in your blind spots).
  • Signal for at least three seconds.
  • Brakes (slow down so that you can give way if required).
  • Gears (change if necessary).

When it is safe:

  • Accelerate up to traffic speed.

The red shading in the diagram below shows you which areas to check carefully before entering an intersection.

Approaching an intersection

As you ride up to an intersection:

  • slow down and look in all directions: ahead, behind and to both sides
  • be ready to stop if you have to.

The red shading in the diagram below shows you which areas to check carefully before entering an intersection.

Where to check at an intersection

Where to check at an intersection

 

What are the give way rules?

  • Road users must stop or give way as necessary at Stop signs, Give Way signs and traffic signals.
  • If you are turning, give way to vehicles not turning. Note: if you are leaving the path of a marked centre line, you are deemed to be turning and must give way to vehicles that are following the centre line.
  • If you are turning right, give way to all vehicles coming towards you including those turning left. Note: this applies if both vehicles are facing no signs or signals or the same signs or signals.
  • At a T-intersection or driveway, traffic on a terminating road (bottom of the T) must give way to all traffic on a continuing road (top of the T).
  • In all other situations, give way to all vehicles coming from your right, eg at a crossroad controlled by traffic signals, when the signals have failed and all approaches have flashing yellow lights.

Two vehicles coming towards each other and turning right

Two vehicles coming towards each other and turning right Two vehicles coming towards each other and turning right

When two vehicles are coming towards each other and both are turning right, no one should have to give way.

This is because normally neither will cross the other's path, so both vehicles can turn safely. However, be careful if the other vehicle is a large truck or bus, as they may need more room to make the turn.

Remember to check for traffic coming towards you that is going straight through the intersection (see The give way rules). Your view might be blocked by the turning vehicle.

Important

Giving way means that the road user you're giving way to (whether they are a driver, cyclist, pedestrian or any other kind of road user) doesn't need to stop, brake or slow down, swerve or take any other evasive action to avoid you.

At many intersections traffic is controlled by Stop signs, Give Way signs and traffic signals. See below for when to use the give way rules at these intersections. If a police officer is directing traffic you must obey his/her directions as they overrule the give way rules.

Stop sign

At an intersection controlled by a Stop sign:

  • come to a complete stop (do not just slow down)
  • stop where you can see vehicles coming from all directions
  • stay stopped until you have given way to all other vehicles (this includes cycles and other motorcycles, etc)
  • if you and another vehicle are both facing Stop signs, use the give way rule (see The give way rules)
  • you must not go until it is safe.

The word STOP and a single yellow line will be painted on the road.

Intersection with a Stop sign

Intersection with a Stop sign

 

Helpful hint

If you are are turning right, give way to all vehicles coming towards you who are turning left.

Give Way sign

At an intersection controlled by a Give Way sign:

  • slow down and be ready to stop
  • give way to all other vehicles, except those facing a Stop sign
  • if you and another vehicle are both facing a Give Way sign, use the give way rules (see The give way rules)
  • you must not go until it is safe.

Intersection with a Give way sign

A triangle give way marking and a white line will be painted on a sealed road.

A car facing a Stop sign gives way to a car facing a Give Way sign.

A car facing a Stop sign gives way to a car facing a Give Way sign.

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