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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:00 PM
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Question Right turn on red question

hey yinz...

i've got a question about PA's right turn on red law...specifically, my question is "what defines a right turn?"

(here is the statute if anyone is interested: http://members.aol.com/StatutesP1/75PA3112.html but it does not seem to define "right turn".)

there are two intersections near my house...one of which i go through everyday on my way home from work...where i'm not really quite sure if i am making what would legally qualify as a "right turn" (and, so, am not sure if i can legally "turn right" on red at the intersection).

here is the situation with one of the intersections...

there is one road, center avenue, that is the "main road". it curves. there is another road (with a different name, but i don't remember it offhand, let's just call it "other road") that is, geometrically speaking, a "straight" tangent off of the curve of center avenue.

(note that other road begins/ends at center avenue, so this is a three-way intersection, not a typical 4-way intersection. this is somewhat akin to a Y intersection except the left side of the Y goes straight, but is a different road. so the base and right uppper half of the Y is center avenue. the left upperhalf of the Y is other road, but it is in a straight line with the lower part of the Y rather than bending off to the left. there is a stoplight at the intersection.)

so, as you are heading down center avenue, you more or less "turn" right to stay on center avenue. if you go geometrically "straight", you end up on other road (after crossing oncoming center avenue traffic). so, for all intents and purposes, going onto other road is a left turn...even though you don't actually turn your steering wheel at all to go that way--as it is geometrically a straight line.

going in that direction, if the light is red on center avenue, can you continue on center avenue after stopping at the red light? on one hand, you are physically turning right, but, on the other hand, you are conceptually "staying straight" on center avenue. you do *not* cross any lanes of traffic though. (really, this should just be an always-on green arrow since you are not allowed to turn left onto center avenue from other road anyway, but for some stupid reason it is not.)

my real question, though (as i do this every day), is about coming from other street onto center avenue. if you are on other street approaching center avenue and stop at the red light...

you are technically turning right from other street onto center avenue, but you don't actually physically turn...rather you go straight. so, my question is, can i "turn right" (physically go straight) on red from other street onto center avenue? note that you do not cross any lanes of traffic in doing so...it really is just like a normal right turn except that you don't actually turn right from a geometric standpoint.

hope that explanation wasn't too confusing...these types of intersections exist all over, so i'm sure you have gone through them.

Last edited by LittleRedToyota; October 28th, 2008 at 03:02 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Right turn on red question

Yes. That is all.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Right turn on red question

Going way back in time to driver's ed, if you can proceed from the right lane of the road your on, into the right lane of the road you're turning onto, without crossing another road, public thoroughfare or lane traveling in the opposite direction, it is a right hand turn. Ditto for left on red, but a lot of people don't realize that it's legal unless they do a lot of city driving with one way streets. So at the intersection you describe, it would be a valid right-on-red going from Other Road to Center Ave, even though technically you travel in a straight line.

I've seen a lot of these intersections, but never with a light. They have stop signs with another sign that lets drivers merging from (using your example) Other Road onto Center Ave that oncoming traffic does not stop, and for drivers traveling on Center Ave, and turning right to stay on Center the sign will say stop except for right hand turn.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Right turn on red question

Quote:
Originally Posted by str8shooter View Post
Going way back in time to driver's ed, if you can proceed from the right lane of the road your on, into the right lane of the road you're turning onto, without crossing another road, public thoroughfare or lane traveling in the opposite direction, it is a right hand turn. Ditto for left on red, but a lot of people don't realize that it's legal unless they do a lot of city driving with one way streets. So at the intersection you describe, it would be a valid right-on-red going from Other Road to Center Ave, even though technically you travel in a straight line.
that's what i thought, but wasn't sure.

nobody ever does it there, though. everyone waits for the light to turn green.

i'm gonna start "turning right" on red there. we'll see if i get a ticket...if i do, i'll take it to court and see what the judge says.

thanks for the replies!!
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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Right turn on red question

Quote:
Originally Posted by str8shooter View Post
Going way back in time to driver's ed, if you can proceed from the right lane of the road your on, into the right lane of the road you're turning onto, without crossing another road, public thoroughfare or lane traveling in the opposite direction, it is a right hand turn. Ditto for left on red, but a lot of people don't realize that it's legal unless they do a lot of city driving with one way streets. So at the intersection you describe, it would be a valid right-on-red going from Other Road to Center Ave, even though technically you travel in a straight line.

I've seen a lot of these intersections, but never with a light. They have stop signs with another sign that lets drivers merging from (using your example) Other Road onto Center Ave that oncoming traffic does not stop, and for drivers traveling on Center Ave, and turning right to stay on Center the sign will say stop except for right hand turn.
I'm going to have to agree with you on this one shooter. I was also thinking about the legal left on red from a one-way onto another one-way.

OP, I'd just be sure to completely stop and have a turn signal on just in case.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Right turn on red question

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Originally Posted by Mabuz View Post
OP, I'd just be sure to completely stop and have a turn signal on just in case.
will do.

i always do that anyway, but i'll be extra vigilant in this case...if it were to become an issue, i would want it to purely be an issue of whether or not that is a right turn...and not that i made an improper right turn on red (i.e., did not signal...did not come to a legal "complete stop" first, etc.).
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