Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Private profiles - please note that profiles marked as private will soon be public. This will facilitate moderation so mods can view users' warning histories. All of your posts across the site will appear on your profile page (including PI, RI). Groups posts will remain private except to users who have access to the same Groups as you. Thread here
Some important site news, please read here. Thanks!

Turning left in car with cyclist behind you

  • 23-07-2019 2:30pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭ bfa1509


    Google didn't understand my question so I'll ask it here:

    I always yield to cyclists when I am turning left and they are travelling straight on whether they are beside me or behind me (sometimes in traffic when you need to turn left, a bicycle can be travelling quite fast from behind, so I always let them pass before I turn. But I read somewhere (can't remember where) that it is actually the car that has the right of way in the case of a cyclist being behind and the cyclist should slow down and let the car turn.

    So what is the rule exactly? Do I have the right to go ahead and turn left even if a cyclist is approaching from behind me? (Doesn't seem right to me and even if correct, I can't imagine getting much sympathy if the bike ran into the side of the car)


«13456711

Comments

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 33,793 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle


    Technically you would be in the right being ahead of the cyclist but you shoukd consider that whilst you slow down, the cyclist who may not have seen your intention to turn left may be on your left.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,618 ✭✭✭ Milly33


    From what I learned in a cycle safety group, the cyclist should stop.. If they are on the road, as such they should be acting like they are driving and being respectfull that in fairness they are on a bike and others are in cars (really which one would you think would turn out worse in an accident) If the cyclist was turning left or right he should position himself in the middle of the lane (to avoid such problems like this) for when he decides to turn


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭ bfa1509


    Technically you would be in the right being ahead of the cyclist but you shoukd consider that whilst you slow down, the cyclist who may not have seen your intention to turn left may be on your left.

    interesting. I would have always thought that if you see a bicycle in the distance in your left wing mirror that you should wait in case you can't make the turn quick enough to get out of their way. But then one day, I had my left indicator on and the cyclist stopped and waved for me to turn left ahead of him. It didn't feel right for me, and I wondered who was right in that case.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,416 ✭✭✭ vandriver


    Check your mirror,let cyclists go.Its the only safe thing to do.
    If you and a cyclist collide,and the cyclist is injured, you're on a loser trying to convince the insurance company or the police that you were technically in the right.
    One trick I do all the time though,in heavy traffic with lots of bikes,is to pull in almost to the pavement if I'm turning left,so that cyclists can't go up your inside.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭ bfa1509


    Milly33 wrote: »
    From what I learned in a cycle safety group, the cyclist should stop.. If they are on the road, as such they should be acting like they are driving and being respectfull that in fairness they are on a bike and others are in cars (really which one would you think would turn out worse in an accident) If the cyclist was turning left or right he should position himself in the middle of the lane (to avoid such problems like this) for when he decides to turn

    Very true, but I'm not sure how many cyclists understand this. A cyclist once gave quite a lot of abuse to a colleague of mine a while back who turned left in front of the cyclist. (But I thought my colleague was in the wrong at the time, so I stayed silent. Kind of feel bad now for not sticking up for her)


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 4,437 ✭✭✭ harr


    All depends on the location of the bike , any way close to the junction I am turning at I would always wait till cyclist has passed.
    A lot people in Ireland have some kind of phobia about using indicators and I have seen some very near misses between cars and cyclists where a car had suddenly turned left.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭ cdaly_


    The legislation says more or less:

    "A cyclist may pass to the left of a vehicle unless the vehicle is indicating to turn left and there is a reasonable expectation that the vehicle will commence the turn before the cyclist reaches the vehicle"

    Note that the legislation is focussing on passing on the left which is, in general, illegal.

    The effect of it is that you can turn left ahead of a cyclist approaching from behind if you will complete the turn in good time. In contrast, if your taking the turn would cut off the cyclist then the cyclist has right of way.

    In my experience as a cyclist, it can be difficult to decide if the driver is waiting for me to pass or just not moving off promptly. If I'm fairly sure of them, I'll pass on the left, otherwise I'll move to the right which can leave the driver wondering where I've disappeared to.

    When driving, I'll wait for approaching cyclists, probably longer than I need to but I prefer to err on the side of the cyclist rather than squish them...


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭ cdaly_


    bfa1509 wrote: »
    interesting. I would have always thought that if you see a bicycle in the distance in your left wing mirror that you should wait in case you can't make the turn quick enough to get out of their way. But then one day, I had my left indicator on and the cyclist stopped and waved for me to turn left ahead of him. It didn't feel right for me, and I wondered who was right in that case.
    It's common enough from the cyclist perspective to be unsure if the left-turning driver has actually seen you. In that case, it's a matter of self-preservation to stop and give way. From their POV, they may have been unsure if you would clear the turn or didn't realise who had right of way.
    bfa1509 wrote: »
    Very true, but I'm not sure how many cyclists understand this. A cyclist once gave quite a lot of abuse to a colleague of mine a while back who turned left in front of the cyclist. (But I thought my colleague was in the wrong at the time, so I stayed silent. Kind of feel bad now for not sticking up for her)
    Without being there, it's hard to know who was right/wrong. From within the car, looking in the door mirror, the cyclist may appear further away than they are. So your colleague may have turned too close to the cyclist. OTOH, the cyclist might have just been bad-tempered and had a go at your colleague without need.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭ bfa1509


    cdaly_ wrote: »
    The legislation says more or less:

    "A cyclist may pass to the left of a vehicle unless the vehicle is indicating to turn left and there is a reasonable expectation that the vehicle will commence the turn before the cyclist reaches the vehicle"

    Note that the legislation is focussing on passing on the left which is, in general, illegal.

    The effect of it is that you can turn left ahead of a cyclist approaching from behind if you will complete the turn in good time. In contrast, if your taking the turn would cut off the cyclist then the cyclist has right of way.

    In my experience as a cyclist, it can be difficult to decide if the driver is waiting for me to pass or just not moving off promptly. If I'm fairly sure of them, I'll pass on the left, otherwise I'll move to the right which can leave the driver wondering where I've disappeared to.

    When driving, I'll wait for approaching cyclists, probably longer than I need to but I prefer to err on the side of the cyclist rather than squish them...

    Does all this still apply if there is a cycle lane? In all the cases I mentioned above, there was a cycle lane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭ cdaly_


    vandriver wrote: »
    One trick I do all the time though,in heavy traffic with lots of bikes,is to pull in almost to the pavement if I'm turning left,so that cyclists can't go up your inside.
    Assuming from your username that you drive a van, I can appreciate the limited vision you may have, particularly in heavy city traffic.
    However, I would take exception to this. In heavy traffic, when you are planning to turn left, you're most likely to be in some kind of tailback or slow-moving traffic. If you block the cycle lane/left edge of the road and are stopped or moving slower that the cyclists, you are imposing a delay on them and leaving them with the option to either stop and wait or to go around you and potentially into the path of opposing traffic. This creates an unnecessary danger for the cyclist.

    If, OTOH, you remain in lane, with your indicator on, the cyclists can make the judgement on whether to pass you or not. When you reach the actual turn, taking your time in the turn (this is slow-moving heavy traffic?) allows a cyclist to take account of you.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 908 ✭✭✭ Utter Consternation


    I cycle every day in Dublin city centre and i'm constantly amazed at the amount of cyclists that shoot up the inside of traffic turning left. They even do it to fellow cyclists who have indicated that they are turning left.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭ cdaly_


    bfa1509 wrote: »
    Does all this still apply if there is a cycle lane? In all the cases I mentioned above, there was a cycle lane.

    I'm pretty sure it does. Unfortunately, it's not clear in legislation whether a cycle lane is a 'lane' in the meaning of the road traffic act which brings obligations of giving way when changing lanes etc.

    It's best to treat a cycle lane as another traffic lane which you have to cross to make a turn. This means giving way when turning left and also when turning right. It is unfortunately the case that many drivers, turning right through a gap in oncoming traffic will forget to check the cycle lane and will drive straight across.

    If you treat cyclists to your left in the same way you would treat a lane of cars to your left you should be fine. You may give to cyclists way more often than the legislation requires but that doesn't hurt given that most of what delays you in the city is other cars...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭ bfa1509


    cdaly_ wrote: »
    Assuming from your username that you drive a van, I can appreciate the limited vision you may have, particularly in heavy city traffic.
    However, I would take exception to this. In heavy traffic, when you are planning to turn left, you're most likely to be in some kind of tailback or slow-moving traffic. If you block the cycle lane/left edge of the road and are stopped or moving slower that the cyclists, you are imposing a delay on them and leaving them with the option to either stop and wait or to go around you and potentially into the path of opposing traffic. This creates an unnecessary danger for the cyclist.

    If, OTOH, you remain in lane, with your indicator on, the cyclists can make the judgement on whether to pass you or not. When you reach the actual turn, taking your time in the turn (this is slow-moving heavy traffic?) allows a cyclist to take account of you.

    I sometimes unintentionally do this where I commit to the left turn but the traffic is moving too slow for me to complete it as you said. I found that it often can lead to dirty looks from cyclists who have their way impeded. But I'm probably not breaking any rules other than courtesy (I would have thought otherwise before creating this thread)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,733 ✭✭✭ BarryD2


    Don't see any problem for a motorist to turn left if they are arriving at the junction ahead of the cyclist and they are signalling an intention to turn left. I'd do it quite happily. And if cycling and a car was turning left ahead of me, would be quite happy to ease off on the pedals, brake - you have to cycle defensively and look out for yourself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭ cdaly_


    bfa1509 wrote: »
    I sometimes unintentionally do this where I commit to the left turn but the traffic is moving too slow for me to complete it as you said. I found that it often can lead to dirty looks from cyclists who have their way impeded. But I'm probably not breaking any rules other than courtesy (I would have thought otherwise before creating this thread)

    This is a bit like yellow box junctions. You're not supposed to enter the box until your exit is clear but, in moving traffic you're not going to stop this side of the box when you know the car in front will have cleared the way by the time you cross the box. Sometimes, the car in front doesn't clear the way and you end up sitting in the box but sure everyone makes mistakes. The same goes for the left turn.

    The trouble starts when the traffic is pretty much a tailback and somebody blocks the box anyway knowing well that the car in front will not clear and just doesn't care. You get this happening on left turns also where "I have the green light to turn so I'll turn as far as I can" and you end up blocking the cycle lane and/or pedestrian crossing. You're not going anywhere and you'll be next to turn anyway so you've just ended up causing an obstruction to nobody's benefit.

    Cyclists notice this a lot more than drivers because a driver is more likely to be in a queue of cars and not right where the action is. Because of this, the cyclist is more likely to end up frustrated by you "deliberately causing an obstruction" even when you didn't mean to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭ cdaly_


    BarryD2 wrote: »
    Don't see any problem for a motorist to turn left if they are arriving at the junction ahead of the cyclist and they are signalling an intention to turn left. I'd do it quite happily. And if cycling and a car was turning left ahead of me, would be quite happy to ease off on the pedals, brake - you have to cycle defensively and look out for yourself.
    Agreed but I'd like to add "and will clear the turn without coming into conflict with the cyclist".

    For me cycling, if the traffic is moving freely, I will move out into the centre of the lane to pass a left turn. This makes it obvious that I'm "in the way" and means that a driver needs to take account of me.

    If traffic is moving slowly, I may move out and around the cars to pass on the right or I may pass on the left, depending on how I'm feeling about the cars beside me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,084 ✭✭✭✭ ED E


    Wasnt there a thread on this like a week ago?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭ bfa1509


    ED E wrote: »
    Wasnt there a thread on this like a week ago?

    Could have been, sorry. Not a regular here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,416 ✭✭✭ vandriver


    I'd rather minorly inconvenience a cyclist than injure them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,516 ✭✭✭ DublinWriter


    If you undertake a defensive driving course, you soon realise it's not about increasing your driving skills, but anticipating the lack of driving skills in others.

    Assume all other road-users are complete numpties. If a driver is indicating left, all it means is that the other driver has their indicator on.

    Cyclists are no better/worse than others in this situation. Assume stupidity on their part. Stop and let them pass.

    If you really want to argue about the finer points of the Rules of the Road, then do it on your day in Court.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 24,746 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash


    vandriver wrote: »
    I'd rather minorly inconvenience a cyclist than injure them.
    What about doing neither?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,618 ✭✭✭ Milly33


    it can be scary for all really, really think that if you are going to commute being a cyclist on main roads that you should do a road safety course and have to pass the course, just the same as driving...


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,002 The Enbalmer


    Milly33 wrote:
    it can be scary for all really, really think that if you are going to commute being a cyclist on main roads that you should do a road safety course and have to pass the course, just the same as driving...

    Exactly. Lots of cyclists have never driven a vehicle and have no idea about the rules of the road or choose to ignore them.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 21,094 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Pawwed Rig


    Exactly. Lots of cyclists have never driven a vehicle and have no idea about the rules of the road or choose to ignore them.

    I doubt that is true tbh. Maybe teenagers or young adults but most cyclists over the age of 25 would have a driving licence and probably a car at home.
    Choosing to ignore rules is another issue altogether. I would note ignoring road rules is not limited to cyclists however the consequences of a cyclist ignoring rules and a motor vehicle ignoring rules are chalk and cheese. In general if I was far enough ahead I would just turn. If in doubt I would yield.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 33,793 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle


    Milly33 wrote: »
    it can be scary for all really, really think that if you are going to commute being a cyclist on main roads that you should do a road safety course and have to pass the course, just the same as driving...
    Exactly. Lots of cyclists have never driven a vehicle and have no idea about the rules of the road or choose to ignore them.
    I've a full clean driving licence.
    I've a car and use it both to commute and for private, social and domestic stuff.
    I also cycle on main roads both commuting and for leisure. I aim to cycle several hundred km per week.
    I abide by traffic lights and other road traffic laws when cycling (although occasionally I must break a red as they won't change for me).
    I can confirm that many motorists who presumably also have passed a test should not be allowed drive. Their spatial awareness is atrocious. Use of their phones is rampant. Speeding past vulnerable road users (not just cyclists) with insufficient space for any errors.
    Many professional drivers are amongst the worst to be honest. Unless you've cycled you wouldnt believe it!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,676 ✭✭✭✭ beauf


    Exactly. Lots of cyclists have never driven a vehicle and have no idea about the rules of the road or choose to ignore them.

    I disagree. A lot maybe even most are also drivers.

    Most drivers have not cycled in years and in modern traffic. They are very unaware how to drive and share the road with cyclists.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭ cdaly_


    Milly33 wrote: »
    it can be scary for all really, really think that if you are going to commute being a cyclist on main roads that you should do a road safety course and have to pass the course, just the same as driving...

    Exactly. Lots of cyclists have never driven a vehicle and have no idea about the rules of the road or choose to ignore them.

    Last set of figures I saw on the subject were something like 80% of cyclists are also drivers but only 10% of drivers are cyclists.

    OTOH, I would agree that lots of road users (motorists and cyclists alike) appear to have no idea about the rules of the road or choose to ignore them...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,676 ✭✭✭✭ beauf


    If you undertake a defensive driving course, you soon realise it's not about increasing your driving skills, but anticipating the lack of driving skills in others.

    Assume all other road-users are complete numpties. If a driver is indicating left, all it means is that the other driver has their indicator on.

    Cyclists are no better/worse than others in this situation. Assume stupidity on their part. Stop and let them pass.

    If you really want to argue about the finer points of the Rules of the Road, then do it on your day in Court.

    Basically this.

    Number one rule is not hurt or injure anyone.
    As a driver I might if safe go close to curb and prevent undertaking. But more likely I'll just stop and let them pass, then turn.

    Always beware of the the cyclist rushing to make the light, and not watching your indicator. That's pretty common.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 12,465 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Amirani


    Exactly. Lots of cyclists have never driven a vehicle and have no idea about the rules of the road or choose to ignore them.

    Majority of cyclists are also drivers. Pretty sure this came out in an RTE programme last year.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,808 ✭✭✭ Duckjob


    Its a scenario that's not well defined by law because all depends on the positioning and speed of both the cyclist and the driver.

    If I were coming towards a junction on a bike, and saw a car that was already a bit ahead and already indicating I would always slow down and wait for them to make the turn or move out and pass them on the right if safe.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't expect a driver to indicate and pull across me if I was already close or nearly level to them.

    And if, as happened to me last week, a car guns past from behind only to swing left across me ..... thats just d**kish behavior.


Advertisement