I'll Meet You in the Middle!

Yield SignDriving behaviour is a never ending curiosity for me, so when I heard a conversation about the intersection of Haslam and Adshead Roads south of Nanaimo I had to take a look. The gist of the story was that most drivers seemed to treat this Y shaped intersection as being uncontrolled and zoomed through it as if the rest of the world was going to stop for them. The sentiment was expressed that it is only a matter of time before a serious crash occurred there.

A search of ICBC's crash maps revealed that there was only one reported collision in the intersection from 2011 to 2015 and it was classed as being property damage only. According to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, this occurred on February 18, 2015 and the story's photo showed two mini vans, both of whose drivers had just passed yield signs, sitting corner to corner in the middle.

Collision at Haslam and Adshead Road Intersection

There does not appear to be a vision problem at work here. Both drivers had a reasonable opportunity to see each other as they approached the intersection although there is some vegetation in the way as one might expect in a rural area.

The yield signs are visible and the posted speed limit is 50 km/h.

My limited experience with driving here suggests that few road users respect the limit.

I can understand why this low volume intersection is controlled by yield signs. Stop signs would be treated as a yield by many drivers. Both the collision frequency and the possible need to stop for other traffic here is minimal.

Perhaps this collision has it's roots in how some drivers tend to treat yield signs. Rather than see it as a potential stop, they see it as an invitation not to.

Our Learn to Drive Smart guide says only a little about yield signs:

A yield sign means that you must let the traffic on the through road have the right‑of‑way. You may enter the intersection without stopping if there are no pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles on the through road. But you must slow down (and stop if necessary) and wait for a safe gap if there is traffic on the through road.

The Tuning Up For Drivers does go further. It instructs a driver facing a yield sign to:

  1. Slow down
  2. Check for traffic
  3. If necessary, stop
  4. Wait for a long, safe break in traffic
  5. Turn into the nearest lane
  6. Look ahead and adjust your speed

Although the cost of construction would have been higher, this intersection is a good candidate for a roundabout or traffic circle. It forces drivers to slow, gives more time to check for traffic and facilitates stopping. If a stop is not needed, everyone may keep moving on to their destination safely.

Comments

Amazing, isn't it?

Talk about people unclear on the Yield concept ...

A search of ICBC's crash maps revealed that there was only one reported collision in the intersection from 2011 to 2015 and it was classed as being property damage only. According to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, this occurred on February 18, 2015 and the story's photo showed two mini vans, both of whose drivers had just passed yield signs, sitting corner to corner in the middle.

Sort of like Stupid One meets Stupid Two. 

Over the last few years I

Over the last few years I have come to the conclusion that intersections like this no longer work. Traffic circle or 3 way stop.

Please explain

Um, one reported collision in five years, and your conclusion is that the intersection doesn't work?

How much improvement do you expect from making it into a traffic circle?

 

Comment

What I said and will stay with it is that intersections that rely on common sense no longer work.

In a few European cities they have found that removing all signage increases traffic flow and reduces accidents. Throw in a "Yield" sign and it is always the other guy that is suppose to yield according to some drivers.

 

 

Oh is that what you said?

In a few European cities they have found that removing all signage increases traffic flow and reduces accidents.

This is interesting, as one would expect more conflict, and less efficient flow.

Whereabouts in Europe has this been going on, perhaps you could even provide a link to the source of this information?

Did they try turning off the Traffic Lights to see if that made things work better also?

Throw in a "Yield" sign and it is always the other guy that is suppose to yield according to some drivers.

Is this an observation from the European cities from when they posted "Yield" signs?

Either way, while certainly there are drivers - a minority, mind you - who choose to ignore the meaning of the Yield sign facing them, the sign isn't the problem. Those drivers are the problem, and are the same ones who don't seem to understand many right-of-way issues. Removing Yield signs, Stop signs, Pedestrian Crosswalk signs, etc surely isn't going to improve their behaviour or general safety, to my mind.

 

Youtube video

Below is some Youtube videos

This is near Bristol England

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwHfibl1AoI&list=PLAbizOP0xpM1QQRjaiFvW_...

This one is 18 minutes only need to watch a couple. Traffic lights have been turned off

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv9FQZ7kgqU

Future one with autonomous cars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh7X-UKm9kw

The first one is the most interesting it is Portishead High Street near Bristol. It starts off showing traffic with the lights operating and then after they had been turned off. Even pedestrians found it was an improvement. Only negative is for people visibly impaired. Fellow interviewed has quit using the intersection. This is a problem they will have to overcome.

Next is a German city you can see the lights but they are not operating. Final one is what we can expect with autonomous cars.

As for the comment regarding Yield signs just my normal sarcastic self:)

I think one of the problems is North American attitude towards driving. It is considered a right rather than a privilege. A higher level of proficiency should be required before a licence is issued.

Thanks for the videos. However ...

James, your links are appreciated and I'll definitely want to respond to those soon.

And I understand that in my previous post I lightheartedly brought traffic lights into the thread, which was wrong of me as they're not really on topic within the context of this thread, and the subject being discussed.

YIELD SIGNS, is what it was.

Please, backtrack a moment.  Look at the image at the beginning of the thread, that quiet, rural, three way intersection with no other road markings, no shoulders, no sidewalks or crosswalks, no bike paths, no painted lines ... and why? Because they're not needed! The traffic volume doesn't justify it. It also doesn't justify a traffic circle, and a 3-Way Stop would be absurd.

Those two Yield signs are all that's necessary to determine right of way at that intersection, and if two drivers in mini-vans, each of them being dumber than a bag full of hammers, manage to drive past those signs and into each other there then let's face it there's nothing anybody can do to rescue them from their own utter stupidity. He said, calmly.

BUT I'm starting to get irritated because you have made no effort to respond to my essential question (perhaps because you cannot)? I'll remind you:

In a few European cities they have found that removing all signage increases traffic flow and reduces accidents.

This is interesting, as one would expect more conflict, and less efficient flow.

Whereabouts in Europe has this been going on, perhaps you could even provide a link to the source of this information?

Please, we're all waiting for you to show that your statement is in fact true, and not some fake news or something.

I have contacted the town of

I have contacted the town of Bristol England asking for information regarding the intersection. I know it has nothing to do with yield signs but I found it interesting that by removing signal lights it improved the traffic flow.

From what I have been able to find on-line regarding removing signage that removing signage is called "naked streets".

As for the intersection in the article I agree with you that it should not be a problem. Common sense and open your eyes is all that should be required.

It is not a nice thing to say but locally we refer to highway fatalties as "natural selection".

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