rule of the road

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

rule of the road (uncountable)

  1. The regulation requiring all traffic (travelling on a road or otherwise) to keep either to the left or the right.
    • 1869, Thornton Alexander Jenkins, The Rule of the road at sea and in inland waters (page 214)
      The general rule of the road for steamers is precisely the same as the general rule of the pavement for foot passengers in London...
    • 1986, Peter Kincaid, The rule of the road: an international guide to history and practice
      Hence in Japan the influential samurai warriors habitually kept to the left while walking or riding. Their example influenced other travellers and resulted in the modern rule of the road in Japan: keep left.
    • 1986, New Scientist (volume 112, numbers 1540-1541, December 1986-January 1987)
      The Liverpool and Manchester railway, the first steam-operated passenger railway, which opened in 1830, adopted the British rule of the road, with trains passing each other on the left.
  2. (nautical) A regulation concerning safe handling of vessels on seaways.

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