Question: When you are coming down Sharp Park Road from Skyline, cross over the freeway and turn right on Francisco, and you are "merging" with traffic from Bradford, who has the right of way? You or the driver coming down Bradford from Fairway? Thanks!
Answer from Pacifica Police Capt. Daniel Steidle:
This can be a confusing area for our motoring public. The general answer is, it depends.
The CA Vehicle Code states the following:
21800. (a) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.
(b) (1) When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right, except that the driver of any vehicle on a terminating highway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle on the intersecting continuing highway.
(2) For the purposes of this section, “terminating highway” means a highway which intersects, but does not continue beyond the intersection, with another highway which does continue beyond the intersection.
This is how this vehicle code section applies to this intersection:
*Please note that ‘highway’ in vehicle code terminology also means the same as road or street.
*The stop sign for northbound Francisco Blvd. is not a factor as it is so far away from where the highways merge.
*If traffic merging onto northbound Francisco Blvd. from Sharp Park Rd. has clearly entered Francisco Blvd. and has control of the lane, then other traffic must yield.
*If traffic originally travelling northbound Francisco Blvd. arrives at the area where the roadways merge first, or at the same time as traffic from Sharp Park Rd., then Sharp Park Rd. traffic must yield as they are coming from a terminating highway.
As a more important rule, I always advise that drivers practice safe, defensive driving techniques. While drivers should expect the right of way when warranted, to avoid collisions, they should never demand it.
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