A little bit traffic quiz and education for all Sydney motorists. With more and more residential stacked up along big highways, access road to these highways will create a lot of intersection that need to be served by traffic light. And with more and more intersection, the traffic light will be set such as that the highway will have more green than the access road. This is one of the story

Living in one of these suburban area, every morning, I am queuing in one of those access road to go to the main road. Here is the illustration:


Turning Right At Intersection

I am in the A2 lane, turning right to go to D3 lane. D1/D2/D3 are the busiest lane as it’s the direction to the city. Perhaps because of that, the Sydney’s RTA (Road Traffic Authority) have made C4 lane to be left turn only to speed up traffic.

So, basically there are 6 streams of traffic when the light turns green, from the busiest to the least busy:

  1. From C4 to D1
  2. From C3 to B1
  3. From A2 to D3
  4. From A1 to B3
  5. From C3 to A3
  6. From A1/A2 to C1/C2

People blocking traffic

The queue in A2 lane during the peak hour is actually not too bad, average maybe only 3-4 cars. And it usually always be clear with only 1 cycle of the traffic light – so wait time approximately 2 – 3 minutes.

But from time to time (say every third day), some times I will have to wait, queuing on this intersection for 20 minutes. Why? Because people is blocking traffic due to having little knowledge or little confidence to handle this problem below.

Most of the mistake for these people is to wait traffic from C4 to D1 to be empty first before they want to turn right from A2 to D3. It will hardly be empty as it’s the busiest stream. So, after 2-3 cycles without moving, with angry motorist beeping their horn, they finally move their vehicle merging to D3 lane while C4-D1 still active.

As long there is no traffic go straight from C3 lane to A3 lane, motorist should merge (turning right) from A2 lane into D3 lane regardless the condition of traffic of C4 to D1.

Is this safe?

Of course it is. The merging road have 3 big lanes (highway standard). The one moving from C4 by road rules have to merge into D1, cannot go to D2 or D3. Then traffic from A2 – as long as there is no traffic from C3 to A3 – can be safely merging into D3 with D2 will be the buffer space . I don’t see any problem with this reasoning. Simple and easy.

There is one caution, though… Sometimes, as C4-D1 is moving fluidly compare to C3 (that need to wait non-turning traffic from A1/A2 and also have to follow separate ‘right turn’ traffic light), people who want to go straight from C3 to A3, is breaking the road rule and use C4 lane to go straight to A4. This could be a problem as the right-turning traffic from A2 will only expect and watch C3 lane for non-turning traffic to A3. But if an accident happen because of this, its very easy to determine who is at fault (of course the driver who breaking ‘left turn’ only rule and making a move from C4 to A4).

Hopefully, this article can help people moving through the intersection safely and confidently, without blocking the traffic.

p.s: The highway above is Cumberland Highway