I dare say it is pretty unlikely that the driver who appeared to make a serious attempt to run me off the road at the Howgate Roandabout a few minutes before 1pm today will read this, but if he does, and if he owns a copy of the Highway code he would be well advised to read the section on roundabouts - rules 184 to 190 - and look at the illustrations on routes through a roundabout.
If he does not have a hard copy to hand he could read the Highway Code online here.
Both hard copy and online versions of the Highway Code show an illustration for a roundabout with four exits, like the Howgate roundabout just North of Whitehaven, with two lanes going into it, which applies to that roundabout if you are heading South along the A595 Distington by-pass as both I and the driver who apparently attempted to run me off the road were.
Both illustrations suggest that if taking the first exit from such a roundabout you should approach in the left hand lane unless road signs indicate otherwise, if taking the second exit you would normally approach in the left hand lane unless road signs or a good reason indicate otherwise, and when taking the third exit you should normally approach in the right hand lane.
Rule 185 of the highway code advises that on a roundabout you should "give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights"
Rule 186 of the highway code advises that when taking the third exit on a roundabout with four exits, drivers should
Rule 187 of the highway code says that drivers should "In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to" a number of specific road user groups including. quote
- "traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout, especially vehicles intending to leave by the next exit
- traffic which may be straddling lanes or positioned incorrectly"
I am not in the last concerned that the other driver involved chose a different route through the roundabout because that is not what put lives at risk
What did put at risk the lives of the other driver, myself, our two passengers (one in each car) and other road users was the fact that he ignored rules 185 and 187, failing to give plenty of room when required by the Highway code to do so in what looked like a deliberate attempt to make it difficult for me to safely get into the right lane.
This is far from being the first time I have had difficulty with someone who apparently has a different view from me about the appropriate route over the Howgate Roundabout when heading south down the A595 from the Distington by-pass and towards Whitehaven. But it was by far the closest to causing what could have been a nasty accident.
The Highway code is clear that in such cirumstances you try to keep clear of other vehicles even if you think they are wrongly positioned. There is no consolation in being right if you kill someone.