Junction lines are in place for drivers to give way or stop for traffic that is crossing. It can be difficult for learner drivers to know exactly where a junction line is in terms of stopping in the correct position.
Learner driver actions around junctions and junction lines fail many driving tests. In fact, junctions are the number one test failure based on official statistics.
Stopping too soon before a junction line can be dangerous because any vehicles behind will not be expecting you to stop so early.
Stopping too late, on or over a junction line is also dangerous as it may force drivers on the road you intend to enter to take evasive action to avoid hitting you. This tutorial offers a simple guide and remedy for learner drivers to understand the correct position to stop at a junction line.
Correct position for stopping at a junction line
Whilst learning to drive and of course during the practical driving test, examiners are very strict with regard to the correct position of your vehicle at junctions.
Correct Position for Turning Left at a Junction
When turning left at a junction, stop so the front of your car is just behind the junction line as the picture suggests. Try not to get too close to the kerb on the left as you may risk driving up the kerb or hitting the wheels on it when making the turn.
The position is important as it will allow you to turn left into the new road, correctly into the lane and not to make a wide turn. If the road is wide enough, it may also allow for vehicles turning right to pull up besides you.
CORRECT POSITION FOR TURNING Right AT A JUNCTION
When turning right at a junction, if the road is wide enough for two cars at the junction line, position your car just to the left of the centre line and just before the junction line. Correct positioning at the junction will allow for easier turning when pulling out and not risk making the turn too wide.
When to stop at a junction
When teaching learner drivers, the best method to use is to establish reference marks / points. A reference mark can be used for knowing where to stop at a particular time. In this case, at a junction line.
In this picture, the car has come to a stop at a T-junction. The picture taken is from what the learner driver will see. The junction line arrow is pointing towards around the centre of the right side mirror. This line is where the junction line is. As you slowly approach a T-junction, you can line the junction line up with this reference mark so the junction line lines up with the centre of your right side mirror.
Your car will likely be a different make and model, so you may need to slightly alter the reference mark to line the junction line up with. It will however be similar. Approach junction slowly using this reference mark. After a short while you will be stopping at the correct position without the need of a reference mark.
Some quiet residential junctions don’t have junction lines. In this case you will need to line the edge of each curb up where the junction line would be if there was one. Make an imaginary junction line to use with your reference mark.
Driving test examiners are strict when it comes to dealing with cyclists. When coming to a stop at a junction, ensure you do not stop in the cycle waiting area by stopping just behind the first junction line.
Whilst driving during the test, keep a close eye on cycle lanes. Some cycle lanes have dashed lines which means you can drive in them if necessary, although try to avoid if possible. Others have solid white lines. Avoid driving in cycle lanes with solid white lines. See Cyclists and cycle lanes for further information on dealing with cyclists during a driving test.
Further information related to junctions
Below are various tutorials to help you learn junctions
- Road junctions
- Types of junctions
- Turning left at a junction
- Turning right at a junction
- Box junction
- Staggered junction
- Y Junctions
- D Junctions
- Junction signs
- Emerging from a junction
- Creep and peep