Giving way to buses and trams
You must give way to the bus when the speed limit is 60 km/h or lower. Whether you are walking, driving or cycling, you must always give way to the tram.
Giving way to the bus
The traffic rules specify that “on roads with a speed limit of 60 km/h or lower, drivers shall give way to buses when the bus driver signals that the bus intends to leave the bus stop. The bus driver is obliged to avoid danger.”
This means that the bus driver has a responsibility to be extra cautious, although other road users still have to give way. The bus driver, like other road users, has a responsibility to avoid creating dangerous situations.
He or she should signal clearly and give drivers time to slow down. However, even if the bus driver forgets to turn on the direction indicators, as a motorist you have a duty to adjust your speed to the traffic situation so that you can avoid dangerous situations.
This also applies at bus lay-bys and bus stops, especially as you need to be prepared to stop for pedestrians who may be stepping out into the road.
Giving way to the tram
The traffic rules specify that both pedestrians and drivers must give free passage to the tram, and stop if necessary.
As a driver, you have a duty to plan your driving so that you do not prevent the mobility of the tram. As a general rule, motorists are required to give way to the tram, even at intersections where the tram comes from the left. An exception is when the tram is entering a roundabout. Then it is the tram that is required to give way, as a result of the traffic signs.
Pedestrians at pedestrian crossings without traffic lights must wait until the tram has passed before they cross the street.
You are also required to give way
- when you come from a side street, regardless of whether the tram comes from the right or left
- when you are turning at an intersection where the tram passes
- if you are going to overtake a tram that is at a stop
You must drive with utmost caution when overtaking the tram. According to Section 12 of the traffic rules, it is forbidden to overtake the tram before a pedestrian crossing, and when visibility is obscured.
Conflicts between the tram and other road users
Conflicts may arise between the tram and other road users in the following situations:
- Parking too close to the tram track; collisions between the tram and the parked cars. The tram needs at least 70 centimetres on each side of the tracks on a straight road and up to 1.3 metres at a bend. If cars are parked too close to the tram track, this may result in major delays for the tram.
- Driving too close to the tram at a bend. A car driving too close to the tram at a bend may be hit by the rear of the tram. The rear of the tram will swing out up to 1.3 metres outside the tracks at a bend.
- Trams in roundabouts. The tram has a different driving pattern at roundabouts than other vehicles, in that it runs through the central traffic island. The tram is required to give way when entering the roundabout, and other road users are required to give it free passage out of the roundabout.
The tram needs much more time to slow down
When other road users give way to the tram as required, this reduces the number of injuries due to passengers on board falling as a result of a sudden stop. Those who are hardest affected by fall injuries are the elderly and disabled who have a poorer balance so that they fall more easily, and they will more often be injured once they have fallen.