KNOW YOUR RULES: Coffs Harbour police say if you are merging, you have to give way.
KNOW YOUR RULES: Coffs Harbour police say if you are merging, you have to give way.

Merging traffic must give way

THE Advocate’s letters page regularly stirs community passions, but one correspondent in particular has opened the floodgates.

The letter, published on Wednesday, and titled ‘Understand merging’, complained about a four-wheel-drive entering the Pacific Highway from Bucca Road at Moonee.

“When the merging lane was coming to an end I saw this four-wheel-drive speed up doing 20km/h over the 80km/h restricted speed limit just to get around me and cut me off from merging,” K. Ind wrote.

“My 10-year-old son understood the concept of how merging lanes work when clearly this man had no idea of how they work.

“The merging lane has right of way and if I would have hit your car you would be the one at fault and be the one charged with dangerous driving.”

Coffs Harbour Police Station and the Advocate office have since been contacted by several drivers questioning the letter writer’s interpretation of the law.

But that’s nothing new for our highway patrol officers, who regularly field calls from concerned motorists.

“We receive numerous phone calls from people complaining about trucks forcing them off the road at the end of an overtaking lane,” said Senior Constable Wally Brooks.

“If you are merging you have to give way, that’s what the road rules say.”

He then went on to quote the particular rule: “A driver who is moving from one marked lane (whether or not the lane is ending) to another marked lane must give way to any vehicle travelling in the same direction as the driver in the marked lane to which the driver is moving.”

The regulation goes on: “A driver on a road with two or more lines of traffic travelling in the same direction as the driver, and who is moving from one line of traffic to another line of traffic, must give way to any vehicle travelling in the same direction as the driver in the line of traffic to which the driver is moving.”

For more information, visit www.legislation.nsw.gov.au and go to Road Rules 2008.



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