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Going right and left

A friend, over from the UK, was telling me how he had nearly slaughtered a whole zebra crossing load of pedestrians as he turned right at some traffic lights. He had waited, dutifully, for the green but there is a standard difference to the light sequence here in Spain as against the setup in the UK. Traditionally the UK system gives the cars which have been released a clear run as they go either straight on or make a turn. In Spain cars are often stopped again by the same set of lights on turning right or left. If you're not expecting it finding a bunch of pedestrians crossing in front of you, as you accelerate away, can be a bit of a shock.

Roundabouts are different too. In reality most Spanish drivers behave as their British counterparts do. They attempt to cut the corners in the roundabout and they use all the available traffic lanes. But the rule is different. Technically you have to be in the outermost (the longest) lane in order to leave the roundabout. The only people who exercise this right are learner drivers, flash Harrys and Sunday drivers who know no better. It can be distressing though as you attempt to leave the roundabout from the inner lane to have to stop to cede way to some red velvet sterring wheel cover driver in the correct lane.

Apparently it was Jeremy Taylor who wrote the song. I always thought it was Jake Thackray. Oh, by the way, notice in the diagram that neither the green car continuing in the roundabout nor the yellow car leaving the roundabout is indicating. This is presumably for accuracy; very few people bother to indicate.


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