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Right turns at traffic lights crossroads, a guide

Mastering Right Turns at Traffic Light Crossroads: A Comprehensive Guide

Turning right at traffic light crossroads can be a complex manoeuvre, requiring a keen understanding of traffic rules and proper positioning. This blog aims to provide drivers with a detailed guide on how to navigate these situations safely and efficiently. Booking a course of lessons with a DVSA registered driving instructor with can ensure that you are not confused and disappointed when you sit your driving test.

Understanding Right of Way

1. Giving Way: When turning right at a traffic light crossroad, the first rule is to give way to oncoming traffic. This includes cars going straight or turning left from the opposite direction. You must also be aware of pedestrians crossing the road you are turning into, so watch out for pedestrians who may be rushing across a gap and be prepared to give way to pedestrians who are crossing improperly.

Right Turning Positioning: Offside and Nearside

1. Offside-to-Offside: This method involves positioning your car so that your right side is aligned with the right side of the car facing you from the opposite direction. This allows both drivers to see past each other, improving visibility and safety. This method is generally less common but safer, it is employed mainly at very large junctions where you are crossing multiple lanes prior to turning right, or at junctions that aren’t quite suitable for the other method.
2. Nearside-to-Nearside: more common but has it’s issues due to reduced visibility, this approach involves each car turning in front of the other, with their left sides closest.
3. Choosing a Method: The choice between offside-to-offside and nearside-to-nearside can depend on the layout of the junction and personal preference. However, offside-to-offside is generally safer and more efficient, however contrary to this. you may find yourself depending on where you live, very rarely using the safer offside-to-offside method.

Understanding Filter Lights

1. Use of Filter Lights: Some traffic lights at crossroads have a filter light for right turns. When this light is green, it signals that you can make a right turn safely without giving way to oncoming traffic. You must watch carefully as it is still possible that a vehicle may run through a red light on the opposite side.
2. No Filter Light: If there is no filter light, you must wait in the correct position until it is safe to turn, giving way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Using the β€˜walk across, drive across’ method will prove handy in this situation.

Positioning in the Junction

1. Painted Boxes and Arrows: Look for any painted boxes or right-turning arrows on the road. These markings are there to guide you into the correct position.
2. In the Junction: If the light is green, and it’s safe, move forward into the junction as you wait to turn right. This indicates to drivers behind and in front that you are actively waiting to complete your turn.

Navigating Yellow Box Junctions

1. When to Enter: You can enter a yellow box junction while turning right only if your exit road is clear but you are prevented from turning by oncoming traffic. You would be expected to correctly stop on this yellow box on your driving test if the exit road is clear, despite many other road users misunderstanding the rules.
2. When Not to Enter: Do not enter the box if your exit road is not clear, even if your light is green. This can cause gridlock and is punishable by fines.

In conclusion, turning right at traffic light crossroads involves a careful balance of correct positioning, understanding of traffic signals, and awareness of other road users. Always prioritise safety and be patient, especially during busy times. By mastering these skills with your instructor, you can navigate these crossroads and pass your driving test with confidence and ease.

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