First time poster here. I tried to search this topic but my searches were not coming back with definitive answers, so I apologize in advance if this has been posted before (which I am sure it would, considering how much confusion I see with this issue).
So here is my question, and it seems there are two different views on this, however I want to know which one is considered the legal (correct) view as seen from a law enforcement point of view. Want to try and explain this clearly, so here goes.
I will use the following example.
A paved county road going north/south crosses a highway going east/west and has a stop sign at each side before crossing the highway. Two vehicles driving on the county road approach the highway from opposite directions and stop at the stop signs at the same time (cars are facing each other across the highway). Now legally, both cars arriving and stopping at the same time, the car going straight through goes first - if the opposite car is turning left across the path of the vehicle going straight - this is straight forward and is a basic rule of the road everyone should know.
Now what about this. A car driving north is waiting for traffic to clear on the highway before turning left onto the highway. In the process of waiting for traffic to clear, a vehicle approaches on the county road but is going straight through. Who has the right of way? The vehicle that has been sitting there for 10+ seconds but is turning left (across the path of the oncoming vehicle), or the vehicle that arrived ten seconds after the car turning left had already been waiting?
Same scenario above, but three cars lined up behind each other on both North and South sides of the highway. Three cars facing north are going straight through but one car from the South is waiting to turn left ACROSS the path of the cars facing North. Some people assume that all cars going North and straight across the highway get the right of way, where the car turning left across the path of the cars facing north (and going straight through) has to wait (maybe indefinitely) for the way to be clear before turning. I see this as being impractical, because what if this is a busy intersection, where vehicles must wait for the highway (east / west) to be clear before crossing the highway, and vehicles just keep lining up one after the other because the highway is busy, before driving across it. The vehicle facing south and turning left across the path of north bound traffic would never get a chance to go.
The second view is that both cars arrive the same time. The car traveling north and going straight, goes first. The second car going north and straight, waits, allowing the car facing south (that was already there and waiting) but turning left across the path of the vehicles facing north, to go. This is than repeated, allowing each person the opportunity to go safely.
I tend to wait. If I am behind a car going straight, they go, but if there is another vehicle waiting to turn left (from their perspective) across in front of me, that was already there waiting, I will tend to wait for them to go.
So what is the correct way? 1 or 2? I can see 1 being legal, however this also means that unless someone 'breaks the rule' and gives the car turning left a courtesy, that car (waiting to turn left) may be sitting there for a long time and backing up traffic behind them.
So in these 2 scenarios, which is the legally recognized correct way?
This topic was just covered.
I guess it just goes to show how out of touch people have become with driving these days. 17 years driving experience (including a couple years driving tractor trailer) and never had a HTA ticket. Sometimes I feel/think I am the only one on the road that obeys laws and safe driving habits (speed, following distances, signal lights, traffic laws, right of ways, four way stops, out of order traffic lights, etc)
Anyways, thanks for reaffirming.