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MAJOR ROAD TRAVELLERS HAVE PRIORITY (By B.G.A.) Traffic police are constantly on the lookout for motorists who do not stop and look both ways before entering any of the State's 12 gazetted major roads. This offence is highly prevalent and results each year in many accidents and a large number of fines.
Despite large yellow "stop' signs painted on each street joining a major road, many motorists are surprised when they receive a summons under S18a of the Traffic Regulations and are charged with having not stopped at a major road. In the Traflic Court they often argue that they slowed down, could see that the road was clear and then either turned into or crossed the' major road. They then learn that there is a fine attached to not stopping before entering a major road. It is not sufficient to slow down and then proceed when the road is clear. Vehicles must stop even if there is no other vehicle in sight. The pleas of ignorance indicate that there is some confusion as to which are the 12 gazetted major roads in the State. They are: Caunung-highway. Stirling-highway. Albany-highway. Great Eastern-highway, via Nor tham. Great Northern-highway, _ia Bullsbrook. South-Western-highway. Causeway. Shepparton-road, Victoria Park. Geraldton-highway, via Goomal Uing. Carrington-street, M. Lawley and Inglewood. Boulder Block-road, Kalgoorlie. Wilson-street, Kalgoorlie. If a major road branches out into the country, it remains a major road up to a distance of 120 miles from Perth. The streets of the city of Perth are not major roads. A near-fatality occurred in Stir ling-highway recently when a car turning into the highway collided with another vehicle travelling about 45 m.p.h. along the major road. Witnesses of the accident gave evidence in the Traffic Court that the car turning into the high way slowed down and after the driver had made a cursory glance to the left and right. turned into the highway at a speed of about 10 m.p.h. However, the driver failed to see the other vehicle speeding over a hill near the cor ner. The collision resulted in both drivers being fined-one for speeding and the other for not stopping at a major road. The two cars were badly damaged. The regulation provides that a motorist must stop near a major road in such a position that he will have a clear view of traffic in both directions and can thus make his entry into the major road in safety. A DIFFERENCE. It is not usually understood that there is a difference between a gazetted major road and another road which because of the amount of traffic it carries is regarded as a main road. It is obligatory to stop only at a major road. Nor mal rules of the road apply at a main road such as slowing down and giving way to the vehicle on one's right. At an intersection where there is no major road. the regulation provides that when two vehicles are approaching from different directions, the vehicle on the right shall have the right of way. This rule, however, does not absolve every driver from exercising the utmost caution when approaching an intersection. The sounding of a vehicle's horn does not give it the right of way. At a junction (other than a major road) the vehicle in the through street would normally have the right of. way. However, the regulation points out that it is necessary tb take precautions be fore entering or crossing another road. Where a number of major roads meet, such as the eastern end of the Causeway, a vehicle travelling along Canning-higl;way and turn ing left into the Causeway would have to give way to vehicles at the right angle on the through major road from either Albany or Great Eastern highways. CONVERGING CARS. When two vehicles are converg ing to a point, regulation 107 (1) makes it necessary for one of the drivers to stop and make way for the other. In this case, the driver of the car on the left has prece dent and the one on the right has to give way. This would mean that a car travelling west along Riverside-drive into Mounts `ay road would have priority over a vehicle travelling west along Mounts Bay-road towards the junction. It is stressed that this giving way to cars on one's left applies only when vehicles are converging from different roads to the one point. Traffic officers point out that by obeying these simple rules of the road many fatalities and ac cidents can be averted each year. They also remind motorists that it is wiser to be cautious whether one has the right of way or not, as it is little satisfaction to say after being smashed up in an accident: "Well I had the right of way."