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TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - In BGC's traffic intersections, who has the right of way?

In Bonifacio Global City, particularly around the Fort Strip area, the numerous intersections present a very perplexing problem for motorists who don't necessarily know who has the right of way.

If you've noticed, the stoplights at the intersections have the standard red, yellow and green signals, and yet the road markings often indicate a left-turn signal for the inner lane. Apparently, this is where the confusion sets in.

In one instance, we were the first to reach the intersection at the corner of 28th Street and 7th Avenue, and signaled our intention to turn left onto 7th to attend a press conference at a Fort Strip restaurant. A few seconds after we arrived at the intersection, another car stopped in the opposite lane across us. As the light turned green, we immediately turned left--to allow the cars to cross the intersection unhindered, of course--and proceeded to turn into the Fort Strip parking area.

Now, this is where the situation took a dramatic turn.

As we approached the parking lot attendant's booth to get the ticket, the driver of the other car approached us and knocked on the car, demanding why we cut him off and that we apologize for inconveniencing him. Apparently, our left turn irked him so much that, instead of proceeding his merry way toward Serendra or wherever he was going, he cut the car on the outer side of his line, tailed us all the way to the Fort Strip, and left whom we presume to be his girlfriend to display his alpha male superiority.

Of course, we reasoned that since we were the only one turning left on our side of the lane, the sooner we left the junction box, the less we imposed ourselves on everyone's way. But the tough dude continued haranguing us for blocking him, demanding that we make amends for committing a grave sin in front of his traffic god.

So, just so that we could all get on with our lives, we apologized profusely, which seemed to appease him as he soon went back to his car, beating his chest to show his girlfriend that he was not to be trifled with.

Okay, we're just making up that chest-beating part, but he did walk back to his car haughtily, with a confident stride that said, "you don't do that to me."

So...who was at fault? At a stoplight-equipped intersection that has no left-turn signal but has road markings that indicate otherwise, who has the right of way?

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According to Republic Act 4136, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code--specifically in Section 42 (b) of Article 3, which tackles the Right of Way and Signals--it specifically states that "the driver of a vehicle approaching but not having entered an intersection, shall yield the right of way to a vehicle within such intersection or turning therein to the left across the line of travel of such first-mentioned vehicle, provided the driver of the vehicle turning left has given a plainly visible signal of intention to turn as required."

So, as clearly stated by the law, we were right after all. But then again, in cases like these, there's no use arguing about it--even if you dare to bring it to court--if the other party is beyond reasoning with. After all, you don't know what he may be on, or if he is carrying a weapon with the intent to hurt you. You just have to give way and hope that it placates him enough to leave you alone. In the end, you're the better--and more mature--person.

Sure, nice guys finish last, but we also sleep better at night.

Photo from Google Maps

NOTE: This is one of the rare times we need to admit that our writer committed a mistake as far as the facts are concerned. Indeed, as pointed out by several readers, the "Right of Way and Signals" rule quoted above is applicable to intersections that have no traffic lights. We, the editors, take full responsibility for this oversight. We didn't catch the error partly because we failed to fully visualize the incident narration, and largely because we focused more on the harassment part of the story. And so, for the record: Yes, those cars turning left in BGC need to yield and wait for oncoming traffic to pass through before making their turn. Having said that, we stand by our writer's sentiment that Mr. Alpha Male reacted a little way out of line.

Patrick Everett Tadeo
Writer
TopGear.com.ph's resident writer lives and breathes the news. He might have burned a few bridges along the way just to give you the most relevant--and important--ones.
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