LTO Rules on Right of Way for Vehicles and Pedestrians Philippines

The rules on the right of way refer to the guidelines set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in order to determine which vehicle or pedestrian has priority in various traffic situations. These rules cover scenarios such as approaching intersections, navigating through business or residential districts, and yielding to emergency vehicles. By understanding and following these rules, drivers can promote safety on the roads and minimize the risk of accidents.

It is important to know the LTO rules on right of way because they help establish order and predictability on the roads. Knowing who has the right of way in different scenarios reduces confusion among drivers and pedestrians, leading to smoother traffic flow. Ultimately, adhering to these rules enhances overall road safety and contributes to a more efficient transportation system.

right of way rules philippines

Understanding the Right of Way

The right of way refers to the legal privilege of a vehicle, pedestrian, or other road user to proceed before others in certain situations. It establishes the order of movement and priority at intersections, crosswalks, merging lanes, and other traffic scenarios. Understanding and respecting the right of way is essential for preventing accidents and maintaining traffic efficiency.

In practical terms, the right of way means yielding to others when required by traffic laws or common sense. For example, at a stop sign intersection, the vehicle that arrives first typically has the right of way to proceed before others. Similarly, pedestrians have the right of way at designated crosswalks, and drivers must yield to emergency vehicles displaying lights and sirens. By acknowledging and abiding by right of way rules, road users can navigate safely and courteously, contributing to overall traffic

Rules on the Right of Way for Vehicles and Pedestrians

When you’re out on the road, understanding and adhering to right of way rules is crucial for safe and efficient driving. The LTO lays down specific guidelines to determine which vehicle should proceed or yield in various traffic situations. Let’s break down the key LTO rules governing right of way:

Intersection Protocol

  • When vehicles approach or enter an intersection simultaneously, the driver on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right (unless specified otherwise).
  • If a vehicle is turning left at an intersection, it must yield to oncoming traffic unless it has clearly signaled its intention to turn.

Business or Residential Districts

  • Within these areas, drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing at designated crosswalks.

Highway Regulations

  • Drivers approaching a “through highway” or a railroad crossing must come to a full stop.

Roundabouts and Merging

  • Vehicles within a roundabout have the right of way over those about to enter.
  • When merging onto a highway, yield to vehicles already on the highway.
  • If a car has made a full stop on a side street prior to merging, it has the right of way.

Respecting Pedestrians

  • Pedestrians always have the right of way at crosswalks within business or residential districts.

Additional Tips for Right of Way

  • Intersections: At intersections without signs, yield to vehicles already in or approaching the intersection from your right.
  • Left Turns: Use your turn signal at least 30 meters before turning left at intersections, and yield to oncoming traffic.
  • Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the edge of the roadway and stop to give way to emergency vehicles with sirens or lights.
  • Driveways: Yield to traffic on the public road when pulling out of a driveway.


Exceptions to the rule on the right of way exist to address specific situations where yielding may not always follow the standard guidelines. These exceptions help ensure safety and efficient traffic flow in diverse scenarios. Here are some common exceptions to the right of way rule:

  • Vehicles entering a highway from a private road must yield to oncoming traffic.
  • Emergency vehicles (police, fire trucks, ambulances) always have the right of way when on official duty and are signaling their approach.
  • In areas with shops or homes nearby, drivers must give way to pedestrians crossing at marked crosswalks on the road, unless a traffic officer or signal controls the intersection. 
  • If a pedestrian crosses the road outside of a crosswalk in a business or residential district, they must yield to oncoming vehicles.
  • Drivers must adhere to traffic signals and signs that dictate right of way, such as stop signs, yield signs, and green lights.

Why the Right of Way Matters

The concept of right of way isn’t just about rules—it’s about ensuring everyone’s safety on the road. By following these guidelines

  • Prevent Accidents 

Yielding appropriately reduces the risk of collisions, especially at busy intersections or merging points.

  • Respect for Others 

Yielding appropriately and giving way shows respect for fellow motorists, pedestrians, and emergency responders.

  • Legal Compliance 

Adhering to LTO right of way rules keeps you on the right side of the law and helps maintain smooth traffic flow and promote a safer and more orderly road environment.

  • Enhance Traffic Flow

Understanding and adhering to right of way rules contribute to smoother traffic flow and reduced congestion.

  • Promote Safety

Prioritizing right of way guidelines helps create a safer driving culture and reduces misunderstandings and even trouble among road users.

Remember, having the right of way doesn’t mean rushing through—sometimes it’s about yielding for the greater good of road safety. So next time you’re at an intersection or navigating through traffic, keep these LTO rules in mind to drive responsibly and courteously.

Video: Rules on Turning, Overtaking, and Right of Way

For better understanding of the rules on turning, overtaking, and yielding and the right of way, here is an explainer video from DriveSafe PH:


Knowing when to yield and when to proceed with the right of way is fundamental to safe driving practices. These rules dictate which vehicle or pedestrian has priority in various traffic scenarios, including intersections, crosswalks, and merging lanes. By understanding the rules and exceptions on the right of way establish order and predictability on the roads, reducing confusion among road users. It is fundamental for safe and courteous driving, allowing drivers to partake in the shared responsibility to ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.

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