R is for Right on Red

What a fun road law. Universally, Red means STOP. However, if you are making a right turn, and there is no traffic, you can GO on a red light. Unless it’s posted not to, then I wouldn’t. It’s like eating dessert before dinner, you shouldn’t, but you can.

In most states, this law also includes making a left hand turn on a red light. Wait! What? Yep, that’s correct. I am continually  shocked by how many people do not know this. So, the deal is, you can make a left hand turn from a one way street ONTO a one way street at a red light. There are variations on this rule, so I would check your state’s laws. I read somewhere that you can not turn right on red in Europe; have no clue about the rest of the world. Good thing I only drive in the United States.

The other night I was driving in a very large metropolitan area where the left on red opportunity presented itself. I had to stop and think. Am I on a one way street? YES. Am I turning onto a one way street? YES. There was literally a cop on a motorcycle on the sidewalk watching me. Is it legal for him to be on the sidewalk?  Am I sure this is legal? YES. So I did; turn I mean. And all was well.

One more thing: When making a right on red, you DO NOT have the right of way. This means cars that are making a legal U-turn into the direction you are turning into HAVE the right of way.  Simply put: they have the green light. This makes me crazy and I see it all the time. Once, while yielding to a U-Turn vehicle, I was rear-ended. The person who hit me tried to justify it by saying I stopped while making a turn.


Still your fault.



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