The Right-of-Way Act Philippines (also known as RA 10752) has been around for years; although most drivers are fond of asserting their right of way on the road, few are actually familiar with this law. This is because most, if not all, driving schools omit to mention it in their lessons.
Do you really know when to yield?
That said, this post from Philkotse.com aims to provide information regarding RA 10752: Right of way law in the Philippines for both novice and experienced drivers, which can help in addressing potential conflicts with fellow road users.
1. Right of way Act Philippines: The Basics
As the phrase implies, right of way is defined as one’s right to proceed first when merging in lanes and intersections, as well as when noticing a pedestrian crossing sign. In a general sense, it refers to the practice of giving way to another party, on account of courtesy, road safety, or both.
Most of you might think that the principle only applies to private and public vehicle drivers. In reality, even cyclists and pedestrians are covered.
The right of way is applied to all people on the road: drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians
2. Right of way law in the Philippines: Rules to keep in mind
Here are the critical car right of way rules in the Philippines you need to keep in mind:
Right of way Intersections
Ideally, intersections should have traffic lights for drivers to know when to stop, go, and slow down. Unfortunately, not every intersection has a traffic light, much less a working set.
These instances are made worse by the absence of traffic enforcers in the area. In scenarios like these, knowing who has the right of way intersection is very important.
Before reaching the intersection, gradually reduce speed, with your right foot ready to hit the brakes. Upon reaching the intersection, come to a full stop to check if there are no other vehicles approaching, so you’ll know if you can proceed or not.
Here are common situations you might want to take note of, in order to prevent intersection accidents:
- Vehicles that are first to arrive at an intersection are the ones with the right of way.
- If you arrived at the intersection almost or at exactly the same time as another car, you must give way to the car to your right.
- In case you will turn left, you have the right of way only if you have signaled your turn at least 30 meters away. In most instances, however, the first rule still applies.
Which car will have the right of way?
>>> Also check: Understand 17 common road markings in the Philippines
Roundabouts or “rotonda”
Roundabouts or Rotonda are commonly seen on multiple roads that intersect at a common point. Cars would need to run the radius of the circle in order to get from one road to another. In these situations, vehicles attempting to merge inside the roundabout should always give way to those who are already around it.
The roundabout at the Mall Of Asia in Pasay is one of the more familiar ones in the country
Passing or overtaking
At some point, while you are driving, expect that there would be cars passing or overtaking you. Whether they are rushing or just happen to drive faster than you are, your competitive streak might kick in, leading you to annoy them by not letting them pass.
However, according to the road right of way rules, it is always best to yield the right of way to any vehicle attempting to overtake, by slowing down a bit or maintaining your speed. You can also shift a little to the right to give them enough space.
Allow the overtaking car to safely merge back into the lane
>>> For further reference: Overtaking rules in the Philippines every driver must know
Right of way: Emergency vehicles
This should already be obvious by now, yet we’re including this since most drivers fail to recognize the importance of giving way to emergency vehicles such as ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks.
We need to disabuse the prevailing mentality that sirens are just being used as an excuse to get through heavy traffic, and assume that they are responding to an actual emergency.
Once you hear the siren and see the flashing lights, you must pull over by the side of the road and wait for the emergency vehicle to pass. If this is not possible, you can also try shifting to the right to give some space and stop until the vehicle passes.
One very important reminder is never attempted to tailgate an emergency vehicle as it passes through.
Always yield and stop to make way for emergency vehicles
>>> Worth your reading: How to drive safely around emergency vehicles
Parking lots or driveways
It’s pretty common to find establishments with outside parking lots and home driveways near a national or main highway.
When driving out of such places, take note that cars passing on the road are the ones with the right of way, which means you need to exercise caution and drive slowly, especially if there are no security guards, traffic enforcers or parking attendants to assist you as you merge.
Obviously, you should always give the right of way to people or animals crossing. This also means that you should not overtake a vehicle that stops in front of you to give way to a pedestrian.
When waiting at an intersection, bear in mind that a green light does not automatically mean you should proceed immediately. Be aware if someone else is still crossing the road at that instance.
Even if the road looks clear, always proceed with caution; many accidents in intersections have been caused by vehicles appearing out of nowhere running a red light, colliding with others who have otherwise been cleared to proceed.
>>> Must read: A complete guide to avoid pedestrian accidents
Pay attention to the pedestrian crossing sign!
3. Right of way law Philippines: Driving with consideration
Driving entails adhering to different rules and regulations on the road: you must follow road signs, driver and passenger requirements, and more. And now, you also have the right of way law in the Philippines to keep in mind.
The road right of way is merely a reference to prevent accidents, and for drivers to know when to stop and go; a driver’s right of way is not meant to be asserted, especially with force, and there are situations where common sense can easily trump one’s right of way, especially when there is imminent danger to life or limb.
Sometimes, insisting your right of way to another driver who refuses to recognize it is just a waste of time and energy, and there is no shame in yielding if it means getting to your destination safely.