13th & Corbet on Kitsap Way is a complex right-of-way spot

The in basket: Tom Baker of the Bremerton city electronics shop, who often helps me with answers, posed a question last month.

“Eastbound on Kitsap Way (in Bremerton) at the busy intersection of Corbet Drive, 13th Street and Wilbert.” he asked, “who has the right of way when turning left onto Corbet, and there is a vehicle turning right from 13th onto Kitsap Way? The right turning vehicle is looking at the oncoming traffic, and not at the car about to turn left in front of him.

“I believe the vehicle in the traveled way has the right of way, but I will yield to the right-turning traffic,” he said.

The out basket: This is a complicated intersection and right of way issues there are equally complex. Corbet and 13th intersect Kitsap Way within a few feet of each other. Wilbert is across the street  and is more conventional.

Lt. Pete Fisher of Bremerton police says any car entering a roadway, especially from a stop sign, must yield to those on the roadway being entered, so the driver turning off of Kitsap Way would have the right of way. Tom is correct.

In the first year of Road Warrior, 1996, I handled a related question. Who has the right of way when a driver on Corbet turning left onto Kitsap Way conflicts with a driver on 13th turning right. Their paths will cross.

Pete Fisher agrees with what I was told then by Sgt. Tom Pratt of BPD. They say that the common rule that the vehicle on the right has right of way over that on its left, most often mentioned when discussing four-way stops, governs in that situation. So the left turner from Corbet would have right of way over the right turner from 13th.

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