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Suppose a car (drew in yellow) wants to turn right in this scenario where there is a traffic light at the right side of the street across (circled in blue). Can the driver turns right after stopping or do they have to wait for it to turn green?

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I understand that in California if there is a traffic light directly to the right of you (on your side of the street), you cannot turn right when it is red. However, I am not sure if it is the same for the above scenario. Thanks!

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    "I understand that in California if there is a traffic light directly to the right of you (on your side of the street), you cannot turn right when it is red." I am not sure where you are getting this, but this is never true. You can always turn right after stopping on a round (non-arrow) red light in California. Perhaps you are thinking of the rule where you can turn right on red without stopping in California if you turn into a dedicated lane or there is an island separating the turn path, unless there is a red light on the right of the turn lane, in which case you have to stop then turn. – user102008 Jan 4 at 18:04
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    @user102008 unless there is a sign explicitly prohibiting it. – phoog Jan 4 at 23:19
  • @user102008 You are correct that the OP is wrong is saying that one may never turn right on red, but you are wrong in asserting that a driver "...can always turn right after stopping..." To the contrary: a driver may only turn right on red after stopping by also complying with the matters presented in CVC Sec.21453(b). See my Answer for the full text. – DavidSupportsMonica Jan 5 at 16:28
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In these circumstances the driver does not have to wait for a green signal. That the signal may be adjacent to the driver, or across the intersection, is irrelevant: if the signal faces the driver the signal applies to the driver's actions.

A right turn is permitted in this situation, provided the driver comes to a full stop before proceeding, there are no pedestrians within an adjacent crosswalk, and no approaching vehicle constitutes an immediate hazard.

Note, however, that Subdivision (c) indicates that a driver may not make this right-turn when faced with a steady red arrow symbol. Subdivision (d) is a similar prohibition against pedestrians entering a crosswalk when facing a red signal.

[California Vehicle Code Section 21453 is the relevant authority in California. It reads:

21453.

(a) A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown, except as provided in subdivision (b).

(b) Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, a driver, after stopping as required by subdivision (a), facing a steady circular red signal, may turn right, or turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street. A driver making that turn shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to any vehicle that has approached or is approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the driver, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that vehicle until the driver can proceed with reasonable safety.

(c) A driver facing a steady red arrow signal shall not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by the arrow and, unless entering the intersection to make a movement permitted by another signal, shall stop at a clearly marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication permitting movement is shown.

(d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in Section 21456, a pedestrian facing a steady circular red or red arrow signal shall not enter the roadway.

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    Do watch for signs saying "NO TURN ON RED". Some are unqualified. Others apply to particular times of day, usually either morning or evening rush hour. – Patricia Shanahan Jan 4 at 17:11

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