Do I need to yield on a narrow street?

denish
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Do I need to yield on a narrow street?

by: denish on
Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:56 am

I was travelling slowly on a residential street. Vehicles were parked to my right. There was no parking allowed on the left side of the street. A car came in the other direction, started shouting at me that I should be giving her the right of way since cars were parked on my side (i.e. my right). I'll admit the space was tight, but there was room for both of us. Also, there was no divider on the street! I believe the other driver was incorrect. However I can see a grey area. I think if the street was 2 meters narrower she would have been right. Then again at that point I think there would either be no parking on the street or it would be a one-way, or at least a divider on the road. Ironically she passed me - there was no need to pull over.

Thoughts?


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by: bend on
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:33 pm

148 (1) Every person in charge of a vehicle on a highway meeting another vehicle shall turn out to the right from the centre of the roadway, allowing the other vehicle one-half of the roadway free. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 148 (1).

The other driver has the right of way.




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by: denish on
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:08 pm

... I'm having second thoughts about this. That section doesn't say if the road refers to the active part, i.e. not including the parked cars. For example, in our neighbourhood, it's about 2 m wider than the one where the lady yelled at me. Everyone routinely, on the side of the parked cars, take up more than 1/2 of the total road when they drive. There is no centre line, and if there was one, they would be driving on it. They drive on right 1/2 of the road that's remaining to the right of the parked cars...






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by: argyll on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:56 am

It does say the centre of the roadway as opposed to the centre of the available roadway. I see your point and 99 times out of 100 you'd just slow down, pass the other driver and that would be the end of it but you managed to find the one who wanted to yell at you.

But in a collision situation I would say that you'd be in the wrong.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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by: highwaystar on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:04 pm

The one with the obstacle in front of them is the one who must yield. Its clear as day. Why would the opposing driver (with no obstacle in front of them (e.g. parked car) have to take any steps when they have a clear path? It would be a mockery of traffic law any other way. The odd thing is that many drivers don't understand this basic rule of yielding. Somehow, the person confronted with the parked car in front of them still feels entitled to make the opposing driver wait while THEY proceed. Its yet another example of our self-entitled society. I always laugh when I see this happen.


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by: denish on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:38 pm

argyll wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:56 am
It does say the centre of the roadway as opposed to the centre of the available roadway. I see your point and 99 times out of 100 you'd just slow down, pass the other driver and that would be the end of it but you managed to find the one who wanted to yell at you.

But in a collision situation I would say that you'd be in the wrong.
Thanks, makes sense.


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by: denish on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:41 pm

highwaystar wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:04 pm
The one with the obstacle in front of them is the one who must yield. Its clear as day. Why would the opposing driver (with no obstacle in front of them (e.g. parked car) have to take any steps when they have a clear path? It would be a mockery of traffic law any other way. The odd thing is that many drivers don't understand this basic rule of yielding. Somehow, the person confronted with the parked car in front of them still feels entitled to make the opposing driver wait while THEY proceed. Its yet another example of our self-entitled society. I always laugh when I see this happen.
... not exactly, no one needed to yield, just slow down. Also in this particular case, there was a line of parked cars, rather than an obstacle.


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by: whaddyaknow on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:51 pm

This is an interesting one, for me anyhow.

Assuming that there is physically room for both vehicles, what's the difference vs. a roadway which was the narrower dimension to start with?

Suspect we're dealing with common law / case law here as opposed to the written law.


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by: highwaystar on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:49 pm

denish wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:41 pm
... not exactly, no one needed to yield, just slow down. Also in this particular case, there was a line of parked cars, rather than an obstacle.
A line of parked cars IS an obstacle. The definition of an obstacle is "a thing that blocks one's way or prevents or hinders progress". So, ANYTHING (including cars, unicorns, dragons, ghosts, etc.) that is in the path of YOUR vehicle is an obstacle that YOU must stop if needed; its certainly not the driver with the clear way that has that obligation!!!! The other driver is not the one who must yield to you; YOU are the one who must yield since YOU are the one with the obstacle in your path! Its not just the definition of yielding (and right of way); its plain common sense. :roll:


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by: denish on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:59 pm

whaddyaknow wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:51 pm
This is an interesting one, for me anyhow.

Assuming that there is physically room for both vehicles, what's the difference vs. a roadway which was the narrower dimension to start with?

Suspect we're dealing with common law / case law here as opposed to the written law.
Yes, good point. When there's no line, most people would not be aware of this. It was rather ironic she was yelling at me saying I should have yielded but at the same moment, she was passing me no problem, albeit at a slower than 50km/h speed.
Last edited by denish on Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.


denish
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by: denish on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:04 pm

highwaystar wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:49 pm
denish wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:41 pm
... not exactly, no one needed to yield, just slow down. Also in this particular case, there was a line of parked cars, rather than an obstacle.
... that is in the path of YOUR vehicle is an obstacle that YOU must stop if needed; ...
That's the thing, it wasn't needed. There was room for both. She just didn't like it because she didn't have 50% of the entire street. It's a quiet street with no dividing line. She had only 40% of the entire road and yelled at me over that 10%.


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by: highwaystar on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:07 pm

Your question is not without merit---the wording of the law can easily be misinterpreted. While s. 148(1) requires you to share half of the roadway the problem lies with the use of the word "free" at the end of the paragraph.

  148 (1) Every person in charge of a vehicle on a highway meeting another vehicle shall turn out to the right from the centre of the roadway, allowing the other vehicle one-half of the roadway free.

The problem is that some folks interpret that to mean that you must give opposing traffic half of whatever portion of the road is free. But, that flies in the face of the rules of yielding and right-of-way.

Clearly, if there is a dividing line painted, you must stay within your lane and its self-explanatory----you must yield (and stop if necessary) if there is any obstacle in your lane that does not allow you to pass without going over the dividing line. The opposing driver does not have to yield to you nor move over to make room for your vehicle to go on to his half.

However, where there is no dividing line, the same rule should apply. The width of the road remains constant----regardless of whether there is parked or stopped cars (or any other obstacle) on the side. The interpretation most consistent with the general traffic regime is that the one with the obstacle MUST be the one who must yield to the other. In other words, the use of the word 'free' is indicating that you must not take up any portion of the opposing driver's half----his half must remain free.

If that were not the interpretation than it would create chaos in the law when both sides of the road are obstructed. If the width of the road changed, then which vehicle would have right of way when only 1 can safely pass if both have equal right to their 'half' of the available roadway? It would be chaos!

So, the first definition is the more consistent. Still, I agree that the section should be worded better to avoid such confusion.

While the courts have generally adapted the interpetation I have given in civil cases, to my knowledge, there has not been a definitive decision with regards to that section where there is NO dividing line. Rather, the cases have all had a dividing line.

So, your question is very valid.


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