As a general rule, if the obstruction is on your side of the road oncoming vehicles have priority. As well as
parked cars, you may also have roadworks, traffic calming measures or a skip, etc. Any time that you
continue with obstructions on your side then to do so you must not cause oncoming vehicles to change
speed or direction. N.B. Priority can only be given not taken.
Be prepared to give priority when you are not sure if oncoming drivers are going to let you through where
the obstruction is on their near side. Try not to leave it too late when deciding on your course of action so
that you do not find yourself coming to a sudden stop or proceeding too fast.
Try to give a car door’s width of approximately one metre of clearance or 3ft when passing parked cars –
you should be able to do this when there are no oncoming vehicles or if the road is wide enough that
oncoming traffic is not affected. Wherever possible, give cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders plenty of
room when passing so that if they fall off you will still avoid them, in particular when it’s a windy day, the
cyclist is a young child, the cyclist is travelling up a hill or where you have obstructions on a narrow road.
N.B. Cyclists, motorbikes and mopeds, etc will often swerve to avoid drains, manhole covers and cats
eyes especially in the rain as these items are slippery and uneven or raised.
Be prepared to ‘hold back.’ If you need to stop, aim to keep a reasonable clearance from the obstruction
to help maintain a good view of the road ahead – this is referred to as a ‘hold back’ or ‘hold on’ position.
You do not want to look like you are parking up if you are too far to the left.
Move off safely as soon as it is clear to do so using the Mirrors, Signal, Manoeuvre (MSM) routine including
a blind spot check which may be needed. You should consider a signal ……. applying if you think any
motorist or pedestrian will benefit.
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