Lanes Merging Vs Lane Ending
This page has been put together using Qld road rules legislation as of 2009.
It is in no way purposed or designed to be used for legal defense or legal advice!
It is designed to help you know the road rules and do the right thing.
Not to justify bad driving behaviours.
The image on the right is of a lane ending.
In this example the Blue Car's lane is ending and they must cross a line in order to continue. The Green Car, however, is in the continuing lane and does not need to cross a line at all.
So, in this instance, even though the Blue Car is in the lead, they must, according to Queensland Regulation, "give way to any vehicle travelling in the same direction as the driver in the marked lane to which the driver is moving." In other words, you are required by law to give way to the traffic in the lane you are changing into, even if you don't move laterally (sideways) to proceed across the line.
The Blue Car should check their mirror, indicate right to show his intent, and perform the shoulder check before changing lanes, when he sees the Green car he is required by law to slow down to allow the Green car to pass and then proceed across the line.
The Green Car should continue with care and not get caught up on "It's my right of way!" if the Blue Car does decide to cut them off. Safety First, ALWAYS!
The image to the Left is of two lanes merging.
The situation is exactly the same, the Blue Car is ahead of the Green Car. The only difference is that neither car must cross a line to continue.
So this time, according to Queensland Regulation, the driver "must give way to a vehicle in another line of traffic if any part of the vehicle is ahead of the driver's vehicle." In other words the Green Car must give way to the Blue Car because they are in front, even if it's just the bumper.
Both cars should check their mirror, indicate their intent to merge, the Blue Car indicating Right and the Green Car indicating Left, and then perform a shoulder check before merging.
Ideally when two lines of traffic perform this merge it should end up looking like a zipper coming together, Left, Right, Left, Right...
Again both cars should continue with care and not get caught up on "It's my right of way!" if the other car does decide to push in. Safety First, ALWAYS!