The other day, I came across a situation where the driver in front of me had stopped on a red light, waiting to take a right turn. As far as I could see, there was no "No turn on red" sign posted anywhere, neither was there any incoming traffic from the left side, nor any pedestrian on the crosswalk.

Here's a snap of that exact intersection taken from Google Street View -

enter image description here

There is one red light straight ahead, which is for cars going straight onto the street. There is another red light towards the right, which is why (I assume) the driver had stopped.

My question is, if there is such a situation where there is a red light for the right turn, but there's no "No right turn on red" sign posted anywhere, what's the right way to proceed?

This is for the state of MA, by the way.

EDIT - The Google Street View link for this intersection, if it helps.

  • 3
    That doesn't look like a right turn. That looks like a bend to the right. A right turn is at a junction where there is cross traffic rather than something like a T-junction that you have there
    – Berwyn
    May 31, 2016 at 15:25
  • 2
    Ok. looking it on google maps, it does look more like an intersection that would allow right turn on red. I suspect the driver was just being cautious. Although you are allowed to turn right on red, you're not obliged to
    – Berwyn
    May 31, 2016 at 15:41
  • 2
    Stay put. Do not proceed if you do not feel it is safe or you're not certain it's legal. Let them honk all day or overake you.
    – Berwyn
    May 31, 2016 at 15:45
  • 3
    As a general rule, don't let other drivers intimidate you into doing unsafe or illegal things by honking. You're never required to make a right turn on red, even if it annoys the heck out of everyone behind you, though doing so when you can is advisable. May 31, 2016 at 16:14
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this has nothing to do with travel.
    – user4188
    May 31, 2016 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


Making right turn on red onto Bacon from Oak is not Legal.

If you look at traffic light installed at Arbor and Bacon facing Oak Street you can see a blurred white sign, which is actually a "No Turn on Red" sign.

So on this intersection you can turn right from Arbor onto Bacon Street and from Bacon onto Arbor Circle. Other right on Red are not allowed.

  • Thanks for pointing this out! Is it usual for these signs to be placed in such hard-to-see spots? Usually, I've always seen "No turn on red" signs to be placed in easily identifiable positions, such as hanged up high just below the light, in clear view. May 31, 2016 at 17:55
  • @Manish In areas of older construction yes this is fairly normal. But you should be able to see it at the intersection.
    – Karlson
    May 31, 2016 at 18:09
  • @Manish When you reach the stop line, it will be visible. There is a duplicate sign on the far side traffic light pole. But I can tell that most of these signs are several decades old. So are the traffic lights themselves. The cyclist sign is relatively new, though. Jun 1, 2016 at 0:17
  • 1
    It's worth noting that even where, as here, a right turn on red is permitted, it is never required; the driver is perfectly entitled to wait until the light turns green if they feel it would be safer, are unsure of the laws, or otherwise prefer to do so.
    – mlc
    Jul 18, 2021 at 0:57
  • 2
    @mlc True. But it is annoying.
    – Karlson
    Jul 18, 2021 at 1:01

Karlson called it. Here's the pic. You need to proceed a bit further forward in google streetview. The no turn on red sign is actually hidden behind the three yellow signs and the stop here to turn left white sign:

enter image description here

  • Couldn't see that one. Saw the one across the street.
    – Karlson
    May 31, 2016 at 16:15
  • It's on the right hand side. I think only the foremost car would ever be able to see it.
    – Berwyn
    May 31, 2016 at 16:17
  • I hate those kinds of intersection.
    – Karlson
    May 31, 2016 at 16:28
  • This particular "No Turn on Red" sign is present in the 2013 and 2015 Google Street View, but not in the 2019 one, in which the post and light are present, but this sign is no longer on the post.
    – shoover
    Jul 19, 2021 at 4:28
  • @shoover In the 2022 street view it's been moved across the intersection to be located under the traffic signal.
    – A. R.
    Apr 18, 2023 at 20:53

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