Junctions: Crossroads

There are four different types of crossroads:

Unmarked There are no road markings at all and no-one has priority when driving through the crossroads. You may find unmarked crossroads in country areas or in areas of terraced housing. Table Image
Marked: Give Way Junction has the dotted white lines to show where you have to give way to traffic on the main road. Table Image
Marked: Stop Junction has the solid white line to show you where you MUST stop. Traffic on the main road has priority. An examiner will automatically fail you on your test for not using your handbrake at a Stop junction. Table Image
Signal controlled Traffic light system dictates who has priority. Table Image
Turning left at a marked crossroads junction

To emerge left at a marked crossroads from a minor road into a major road safely and under control you need to use the MSPSL routine as explained in the previous section.Img

Mirrors Check the centre and the left wing mirror
Signal Give a left signal using the direction indicator
Position Position the car 1m from the kerb and follow the kerb line to ensure a good position on the new road. Try not to mount the kerb or turn too wide
Speed Reduce the speed down to 10mph and change the gear down to 2nd gear on approach. If you are at a Stop junction then you MUST stop at the line, apply handbrake and change to 1st gear
Look Look right and left and OPPOSITE several times to check it is safe to emerge. Check also for parked cars, obstructions, pedestrians etc.

Once you have turned then check your mirrors once more to assess the situation in the new road and ensure that your signal has been cancelled.

Going ahead at a marked crossroads junction

To go straight ahead at a marked crossroads safely and under control you need to use the MSPSL routine as explained in the previous section.

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Mirrors Check all three mirrors
Signal No signal
Position Position the car centrally in your lane to ensure a good position going across the road.
Speed Reduce the speed down to 10mph and change the gear down to 2nd gear on approach. If you are at a Stop junction then you MUST stop at the line, apply the handbrake and change to 1st gear
Look Look right and left and OPPOSITE several times to check it is safe to emerge. Check also for parked cars, obstructions, pedestrians etc.

Once you have entered the new road then check your mirrors once more to assess the situation and ensure that your signal has been cancelled.

Turning right at a marked crossroads junction

To emerge right at a marked crossroads from a minor road into a major road safely and under control you need to use the MSPSL routine as explained in the previous section.As

Mirrors Check the centre and the right wing mirror
Signal Give a right signal using the direction indicator
Position Position the car just left of the centre line and follow the line to ensure a good position on the new road.
Speed Reduce the speed down to 10mph and change the gear down to 2nd gear on approach. If you are at a Stop junction then you MUST stop at the line, apply the handbrake and change to 1st gear
Look Look right, left and OPPOSITE several to check it is safe to turn. You do not have priority if the car opposite is turning left or going ahead. If the car also intends to turn right, you´ll need to get eye contact with the other driver to ascertain who will turn first. See below

Once you have turned then check your mirrors once more to assess the situation in the new road and ensure that your signal has been cancelled.

Turning right at a crossroads when a car opposite is also turning right

There are two ways to turn right at a crossroads, offside to offside or nearside to nearside. Offside and nearside refer to the wing mirrors, where off side is the right wing mirror or driver´s side of the car, and nearside is the left wing mirror or passenger side of the car. It is generally safer to turn offside to offside as it means you will travel around the other car enabling you to see if there are any other cars behind it. When you turn nearside to nearside you end up travelling in front of the other car, which means your vision is obstructed by the other car itself. The road layout of the crossroads usually determines which of the two methods you would use.

Offside to offside

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If you are wanting to turn right at a marked crossroads and there is a car waiting at the opposite junction also wanting to turn right then you would turn off side to off side. The first thing to do at the junction is get eye contact from the other driver to work out who is going to move first. You both have equal priority at a marked crossroads so don´t assume that you can turn first.

Nearside to nearside

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The layout of a signal operated crossroads junction can mean that you turn near side to near side. When the traffic lights change to green position the car approximately halfway into the junction with the nose of the car angled slightly to the right. This allows the opposite car to do the same. You will have to give way to any oncoming traffic and when you can see it is clear you can continue with your turn. During busy periods you may have to wait in the centre of the junction for some time and the traffic lights may start to change back to red whilst you are waiting. As a general guide when the traffic lights change to green only the first two cars should move into the centre of the junction so that if the lights start to change back to red there should be sufficient time to turn before the next batch of cars start to move. If you are the third car in line then it is safer to wait behind the stop line until at least one of the two cars in the centre has cleared. This way if the traffic lights do start to change back to red you will be in a good position behind the stop line and not stuck in the middle of the junction.

Box junctions
crossroads-boxThere is a myth that you cannot enter a box junction at any time, this is false! Box junctions tend to be at busy crossroad junctions and so the traffic needs to move as freely as possible. To ensure this the box junctions act as a way of keeping the junction clear. If you are faced with oncoming traffic then you are alright to wait in the yellow box until a time when you are able to turn. The only time you cannot wait in a yellow box is if your exit road is actually blocked itself i.e. the traffic queue backs up to the box junction and joining the end of that traffic queue would cause you to block the other traffic.

Exercise

The diagram below shows a box junction. The traffic lights have turned to green. So where should the blue car wait to turn right? Drag and drop the blue car, to a suitable place to wait.

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The blue car is now approaching the junction at rush hour. The lights have turned to green. Where´s the most suitable place to wait for turning right? Drag and drop the blue car, to a suitable place to wait.

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