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Giving Way

The give way rules

There are give way rules that apply at intersections and driveways.

  • If you are turning give way to all traffic that is not turning.

Intersection with turning traffic Intersection with turning traffic

This includes giving way to cyclists using cycle and bus lanes, and vehicles using bus lanes.

Intersection with cycle lane

It also applies when both vehicles are facing the same control, such as Stop signs, Give Way signs and green traffic signals.

Intersection with Stop signs Intersection with give way signs

Both vehicles facing green traffic lights Vehicle crossing the centre line gives way

If you are leaving the path of a marked centre line at an uncontrolled intersection, you must give way to vehicles following the centre line. This is because vehicles leaving the path of the centre line are legally turning (even though sometimes they might actually be going in a straight line) and the give way rules apply.

  • If you are turning right and the opposing vehicle is turning left, you must give way.

Both vehicles facing a Stop sign Both vehicles facing a give way sign

Both vehicles facing a green traffic light Turning at an uncontrolled intersection

Turning at an uncontrolled intersection

  • If the road you are on terminates (bottom of the T), give way to traffic on the continuing road (top of the T). This also applies at driveways.

Turning at an uncontrolled T-intersection Turning at an uncontrolled T-intersection

You must give way to all traffic on the road and any road user on a footpath, cycle path or shared path.

Turning at an uncontrolled T-intersection Turning at an uncontrolled T-intersection

  • In all other situations give way to your right. An example would be at a crossroads controlled by traffic signals when signals have failed and all approaches have a flashing yellow light.

Traffic signals

The following rules apply at an intersection controlled by traffic signals (also known as traffic lights):

  • A red signal means stop.
Picture of a traffic signal showing a red light

Red signal

  • A green signal means you can go, provided it is safe and:
    • if you are turning right, you give way to vehicles coming towards you that are going straight through,or vehicles turning left.
    • you give way to pedestrians crossing. This includes riders of mobility devices and wheeled recreational devices.
Picture of a traffic signal showing a green light

Green signal

  • A yellow signal means stop, unless you are so close to the intersection that you can't stop safely.
  • A yellow signal indicates that the lights will soon turn red.
Picture of a traffic signal showing a yellow light

Yellow signal

  • A flashing yellow signal means the traffic signals are not working. In this case, you must apply the give way rules for uncontrolled intersections.
Picture of a traffic signal showing a flashing yellow light

Flashing yellow signal

Arrow traffic signals

When arrows are displayed on traffic signals, they apply only to vehicles going in the direction the arrow is pointing. For example:

  • A red arrow means you must stop if you are travelling in the direction the arrow is pointing.
Picture of traffic signals showing a red arrow pointing right

Red arrow

  • A yellow arrow means you must stop if you are travelling in the direction the arrow is pointing, unless you are so close to the intersection that you can't stop safely.
Picture of traffic signals showing a yellow arrow pointing right

Yellow arrow

  • A green arrow means you can go if you are travelling in the direction the arrow is pointing, provided it is safe.
Picture of traffic signals showing a green arrow pointing right

Green arrow

Reading the traffic signals

The following examples will help you get to know what traffic signals and arrows mean.

Signal Vehicle path Action
Picture of traffic signals showing a green light and a red arrow pointing left Turning left Must stop. The red arrow protects pedestrians crossing the road.
Straight through May go, provided it is safe.
Turning right May go provided:
> it is safe, and
> you give way to vehicles coming towards you that are going straight through the intersection.
Picture of traffic signals showing a green light and a yellow arrow pointing right Turning left May go, provided it is safe.
Straight through May go, provided it is safe.
Turning right Must stop, unless it is not safe to do so.
Picture of traffic signals showing a green light and a green arrow pointing right Turning left May go, provided it is safe.
Straight through May go, provided it is safe.
Turning right May go, provided it is safe. All vehicles coming towards you should be stopped.
Picture of traffic signals showing a red light and a green arrow pointing right Turning left Must stop.
Straight through Must stop.
Turning right May go, provided it is safe. All vehicles coming towards you should be stopped.

Cycle, tram and bus signals

At some intersections, there are special signals for cycles, trams and buses. Cycles, trams and buses can move when these signals are on, but all other vehicles must wait for the appropriate green traffic signal.

Special traffic signals

Special traffic signals

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