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Bicycle and car at lights - car wants to turn left. Green light for left and straight. Who's right?

  • 22-12-2022 2:54pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5

    What should happen when a bicycle is in the bike lane, and a car is next to it - both at red lights. The car want to go left. The bike wants to go straight.

    The lights turn green, a green left arrow and a green straight on arrow. In this case car driver turns left in front of me and starts shouting at me, even though I had a green light too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,864 ✭✭✭greasepalm

    Yield to bike on left as many signs are around to watch out for cyclists at many junctions and to make sure your mirrors are clean and focused to see them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,536 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    According to the statutes the cyclist is supposed to wait for the vehicle indicating left to turn. But we've made up new rules and are telling people to yield to the cyclist.

    So both are right, unfortunately.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭newmember2

    The driver won't be wondering anything if the cyclist makes clear their intentions. There is only one lane in this scenario and everyone must share it. If the cyclist has not made himself known to the motorist then as that cyclist I would hold back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,258 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42

    Make clear their intentions? In the absence of them indicating they are turning left then the assumption must be that they are going straight on.

    How, as a cyclist, would you know that you have made yourself known to the motorist?

    So you hold back for that car, then another car moves up to turn left. Would you wait for that car as well?

    Unfortunately, pointed out in an earlier post, the law is unclear as to who has the right.

    I actually put this question to Dublin city council when they installed a cycle lane at the corner of Clontarf road and Howth road, and I was cut off going around the corner. Reply was that I should try to avoid an accident!

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,892 ✭✭✭✭Wishbone Ash

    In that scenario, I'd have positioned myself ahead of the car driver (where possible) to make myself more visible and to get a head start.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭Casati

    This type of situation is the reason I hate bike lanes. I think if the cyclist cycles into the side of the car that in court both parties could be held to have a shared responsibility in this type of situation. Best option is to get ahead of the car when the lights change

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,350 ✭✭✭iwillhtfu

    This is the best advice and not even so much to get a head start but to make the driver aware you're there. Most drivers see red lights as an opportunity to look at or check their phones so they may not even realise there's a bike beside them. Seems in your case OP you just had a driver that sees red when it comes to bikes.

    As always when in moving traffic assume every car is going to turn in on you at a junction and try keep yourself in their field of vision if that means holding back or moving out. In spite of the militant approach of some and the law(I think, correct me if I'm wrong) saying drivers turning left across a bike lane should yield to bikes in bike lane I'd always give way to them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,864 ✭✭✭greasepalm

    I have also had to wait my turn when going into a narrow side street at 90 degrees when cyclists were travelling faster than me in cycle lanes and when free and clear then turned.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,863 ✭✭✭micar

    Is this an actual junction or a hypothetical situation.

    Does the road split into two lanes....1) left turn and 2) straight on.....and the cycle lane is to the left of the left turn lane

    If purely 1 single lane .....cyclist should either be positioned ahead of the main traffic and ready to go in order to get away once lights go green before issues arise once the light goes green or remain directly behind said car and not in the cyclelane.

    If as you described the cyclist have right of way all day question someone said make eye contact with motorist in order to tell them you're going straight ahead.

    I would never position myself directly alongside a car in this situation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,691 ✭✭✭Furze99

    Cyclist has right of way but common sense says he who is bigger comes off better. Proceed with caution in other words.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,974 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    several questions; did the cyclist approach the lights before or after the motorist? depending on the layout, if the car is already there and indicating, and there is no decent cycling infrastructure, i would take the lane but pull in behind the car. so any motorists approaching from behind would have to sit behind me.

    as mentioned above, i would not go up the inside of a car already indicating right unless i have an opportunity to make myself very visible.

    if there's properly separated cycling infrastructure, i'd go up the front anyway (holding back from the stop line would be a little weird) but would eyeball the driver to confirm whether or not they'd seen me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,536 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    However as a cyclist you cannot overtake on the inside if the vehicle you intend to overtake:

    Is signalling an intention to turn to the left and will move to the left before you overtake it

    Is stationary for the purpose of allowing a passenger to alight or board the vehicle

    Is stationary for the purposes of loading or unloading

    No I'm not. You can't turn when stopped and the car was ahead of the OP when they reached the junction.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭tnegun

    You just made that up, your own link clarifies it for you, and you're wrong I'm afraid.

    Post edited by tnegun on

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,250 ✭✭✭John_Rambo

    "bicycle is in the bike lane, and a car is next to it - both at red lights"

    ^^ quote from the OP... This is a very clear, simple & well explained daily set of circumstances in which an urban motorist finds oneself. If you're confused or find any ambiguity you need to recalibrate your understanding of the rules of the road & your responsibilities as a motorist.

    No question about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,892 ✭✭✭✭Wishbone Ash

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,380 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo

    As a cyclist I wouldn't sit to the left of a car indicating to go left, either move in front or behind them.

    OP If there was an actual bike lane, was there not also a marked area for bikes in front of the stop line for cars?

    Also, who was there first?

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,115 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    While this is the point of ASL, it is utterly ridiculous how infrequently they are observed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 36,142 ✭✭✭✭ED E

    Guards themselves always fill the ASL box. Its farcical.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,026 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    If the cyclist has a deathwish they are free to assert their right of way. At the funeral, they can be commended for following the rules of the road.

    I adopt the cautious approach as a pedestrian, cyclist, moped user and driver. Never assume that the other road user is aware of you.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,069 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    Where a car and a cyclist are moving off from red light and collide it is very unlikely that there would be a fatality.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,026 ✭✭✭✭blanch152

    True, but better to be a cyclist complaining in the pub to his mates about the bad driver than to be in hospital with concussion and broken bones wondering who you are. It's the same principle, just be cautious and stay alive and well.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,069 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    Which is presumably what happened in the OP. Where I did cut across someone while driving I wouldn't be berating them out the window