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Driving in the US

Wellington, New...
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Driving in the US

Hey, just wondering what the rules are about with red lights and going thru them....we have been in San Fran for 4 days now and it seems if no one is coming cars just go straight thru the intersection....is this allowed or have people just come accustomed to it?

Albuquerque, New...
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1. Re: Driving in the US

You have to sit at the red light and wait until it turns green even if there is no other traffic around. If you go through and a police officer sees you, you will get a ticket.

BUT, you can turn right on red if you are in the right hand lane and you can make the turn safely. You should stop first and then proceed if no traffic is coming. Some intersections may have signs that prohibit right turn on red, so look carefully.

Wellington, New...
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2. Re: Driving in the US

Wow thanks for that! Makes a lot of sense. Is this rule just for California or right across the states?

Chula Vista...
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3. Re: Driving in the US

It's legal to do right turn on red in all 50 states but, interestingly, not in New York City. But, as grizz9 pointed out, there are certain intersections that prohibit it and there will be a sign that says "No Turn on Red."

Baltimore
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4. Re: Driving in the US

<<Wow thanks for that! Makes a lot of sense. Is this rule just for California or right across the states? >>

There’s some variation. Throughout the West it is widely legal to turn right at an intersection, having come to a stop, if no traffic is approaching even while the light remains red – UNLESS, there’s a sign saying it’s not legal. In California and I think most Western states, it is also legal to turn left from the left hand lane of a one way street on to the left lane of a one way street crossing from your right to left – having come to a stop, if no traffic is approaching, even if the light is still red.

In California and much of the west be quite attentive to pedestrian crosswalks. You want to be particularly mindful when making one of these right on red turns. If a pedestrian steps in to a crosswalk, you must grant the pedestrian a right of way. On multi-laned two way streets, you need not stop for a pedestrian who has stepped in to a crosswalk over on the far side where traffic is heading in the opposite direction.

Right turn on red became common in the East about thirty years ago. However, prohibiting signage is much more common in the East. In New York City, it is only legal if a sign says so – the opposite of many places where it is legal unless a sign says otherwise. The District of Columbia [that’s Washington] is tricky. There are lots of signs in the District, Northern Virginia, and Downtown Baltimore, prohibiting red on right between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, or variant hours. Also, the District has many merge lanes, circles, and oddly configured intersections – turns from these places are not necessarily “right turns.”

Lewes, United...
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5. Re: Driving in the US

Hi

Haven't time now to go into other rules to bring to your attention, but up on the right of the forum in the Top Qs section is a general USA driving tips topic which may be of use to you, hopefully.

SWT

6. Re: Driving in the US

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