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Road Junctions

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 5 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Road Junctions

Some drivers find junctions stressful to negotiate, but this doesn't have to be the case for all drivers. As long as you know who you need to give priority to in a given situation, and keep an eye out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, you shouldn't encounter too many problems at junctions.

Take Care

If there are pedestrians crossing a road into which you intend to turn into, you should let them carry on crossing, as they have the priority.

If you are following a long vehicle that is pulling out of a junction, give them plenty of room to swing out. If you are waiting to turn in as a long vehicle is waiting to pull out, be aware that they may need the full width of the road to be able to swing out fully. It may be safer (both for yourself and other drivers) if you turn in first (provided there is enough room), particularly if you are the only vehicle waiting to do so.

Road Markings and Road Signs

If you see a 'Stop' sign accompanied by a solid white line across the road, you need to stop and wait until a safe gap emerges in the traffic.

If you see a 'Give Way' sign or triangle, you need to give way to traffic when you're exiting a junction that has broken white lines on the road.

Dual Carriageways

To cross the carriageway or to turn right, determine whether there is enough room in the central reservation for you to stay there until there is a safe enough gap in the traffic. If there is, you should cross the first half of the carriageway and wait in the central reservation until you can safely cross the second half. If there isn't, you should wait until it's safe to cross both halves the carriageway together.

Box Junctions

These are characterised by crisscrossing yellow lines in the box. If your exit is blocked by another vehicle, you shouldn't enter the box (wait behind the traffic lights instead), although many drivers do so anyway.

Junctions Controlled by Traffic Lights

Stop behind the white 'Stop' line (unless the green light is showing). If the amber light is showing, you are supposed to stop, but can cross the line and continue driving if you have already done so before the amber light shows, or if the lights change too quickly for you to be able to stop before the line.

Green Filter Arrows

This indicates that traffic in this lane is turning in the direction of the arrow only. Don't go into this lane unless you intend to do so.

Advanced Stop Lines

Some junctions have areas that allow cyclists to go ahead of other vehicles. This is marked on the road with a marked area. You need to stop at the first line (at the start of the area). However, if the lights change to red after you've crossed this line, you can go over it, but you must stop at the second line. When the lights go green, cyclists will need time to move off before you can move off too.


Before you turn left or right, you should indicate to let other drivers know of your intentions. Check your mirrors and blind spot to make sure that you aren't compromising other drivers. You should also take care to position your vehicle so that it doesn't block other drivers.

When turning right at crossroads, you may come across an oncoming vehicle that is also looking to turn right. The safest option is to turn right side to right side so that you can both turn behind each other. This means that you canstill see other drivers.

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