Jul 28, 2013

Rule of the right

Driving in Belgium is fun and deceptively easy ...

Emphasis on "deceptively."

"Hey, what does that sign mean?"
As pleasant and uncongested as the rolling roads may appear – Beware! – lurking around every turn (and always on the right hand side of the road) is a hidden danger that you must be fully prepared to stop.

The reason?
- La Loi du Droit

Maybe I should slow down ...
but no reason to stop!
You see, in the Belgian countryside there are no stop signs ...

Not one. Instead they have these peculiar triangular signs with an black "x" in the middle which indicates an intersection is just up ahead, and at which the Rule of the Right prevails.

Can you believe that little road
on the right has the right of way?
The “rule of the right” gives priority to the driver entering the intersection to your right. If the intersection is clear – no worries – speed right ahead through. If a car on the left arrives simultaneously at the intersection at the same time – also no worries (and trust me) – you have priority as the car on the right.

The catch is that you lose your right if you hesitate, in theory at least.  The complicating the math for me is working the clutch and the new roads and the windy routes, thus my brain and body are fully engaged.


As crazy as the Rule of the Right may at first appear:

It makes sense on roads that are, more times than not, relatively traffic free.

Okay, it all just got crazier in the village center!
Rules of course work best when everyone knows them!

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