Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road: Is right on red OK from second turn lane?

Drivers can turn on a red light from the middle of two right-turn lanes, provided they stop, it’s clear and they stay in the corresponding lane.
Drivers can turn on a red light from the middle of two right-turn lanes, provided they stop, it’s clear and they stay in the corresponding lane. The News Tribune

Question: When there are two right-turn lanes, is it legal to take a free right (at a red light) if you’re in the inner turn lane (the left lane of the two)? For example, turning right from Telegraph Road onto Meridian Street or turning right from James Street onto Sunset Drive.

Answer: Yes, it is legal to make a free right turn on red (after stopping and when it is safe to do so) from either of the marked right-turn lanes unless there is a sign that says “No Turn on Red,” in which case neither lane is allowed to turn. You must stay in the corresponding lane when you make your turn.

Rules of the Road is a regular column with questions and answers on road laws, safe driving habits and general police practices. David Wright answered these questions before finishing his time with the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force. A new columnist is coming. For previous Rules of the Road columns or to ask a question, go to bellinghamherald.com/news/traffic/rules-of-the-road/.

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