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LETTER: Clearing up the rules of the road

Cars travel along the Outer Ring Road in St. John's. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
Cars travel along the Outer Ring Road in St. John's. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

I would like to clear up some misconceptions presented by D.C. Hynes of St John’s in a letter to the editor published here on Dec. 1 18, under the title “The Outer Ring Road is not the TCH.”
Actually, the piece of road locally known in St John’s and area as the Outer Ring Road, in fact, the TCH.

One only needs to drive that road and observe the highway identification signs to know that it is the TCH.

In fact, there is no road in the St John’s area officially known as the Outer Ring Road (ORR). If you approach the ORR/TCH from the east on Logy Bay Road or Whitehills Road the road signs clearly direct you to the TCH — not the ORR.

The statement that the ORR is a road and not a highway and therefore has different rules than the TCH is likewise incorrect.

A quick look at the definition(s) section of The Newfoundland Highway Traffic Act will show that, without getting too involved in legalese, any place or “way” used by the public for the passage or parking of motor vehicles is a “highway.”

That means that the rules laid out in the Act apply to all highways, roads, streets, lanes, paths and/or parking lots in the province.
The keep right except to pass sign is not placed every so many kilometres on the TCH.

It is placed before passing lanes on the two lane sections of the TCH only. It is there to remind drivers that the center lane is for passing only otherwise they must stay in the right lane.

Such a sign is not required on a multi-lane (two or more lanes in either direction) road.

On multi-lane roads the left lane is for passing and/or turning left. If you are not doing either then you should be in the right lane.

Although the Highway Traffic Act makes it clear that drivers are to drive to the right, often traffic density and common sense dictate that both lanes need to be used.

(BTW D.C. Hynes, if you are traveling west from Paradise and your destination is COSTCO you are going in the wrong direction.)

Carter R. Lee
Paradise

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