right turn etiquette

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Fluklowskli, Oct 10, 2013.

?

Fairness or expediency?

  1. Wait your turn in line, rude dog!

  2. Bikes are small, cars are big. Life is unfair.

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  1. waveydavey

    waveydavey happy times!!

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    Why is it "unpolite" to take a turn when another can't? I think it's impolite to worry consider it unfair. Do it safely and ignore the horn.
    #21
  2. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

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    I have to make this decision at an intersection on my commute. if there is room and I have enough time to make it, yes.

    about 2/3 of the time there isn't enough space as it is narrow and most drivers in west LA/beverly hills have no clue on how to keep the cage in middle of lanes
    #22
  3. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    I treat it the same as passing stopped left-turners on the right. It helps traffic flow, gets the next car back closer to the intersection, I get out of stacked traffic, and when done safely the potential risk is no greater than sitting and waiting.

    This is ONLY when traffic is stopped. If traffic is moving I'll stay in line and wait my turn.
    #23
  4. ShaftEd

    ShaftEd Long timer

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    Sit in line behind some SUV when I could easily slip by, make my turn, and be on my way? Are you kidding me? I do it ALL the time here in SoCal. Only caveat is that if the right turn involves getting into a marked bicycle lane before the right turn, then you can get a ticket. Other than that, it's all fair game.:deal
    #24
  5. Dan-M

    Dan-M Long timer

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    I do it all the time. As long as there is plenty of room and the car is blocked, what is the difference?
    By the same token, if I am in my car and first at the light and not turning, I will always pull up to allow the person behind me to turn right.
    #25
  6. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    (EDIT: I think the post I was responding to was nuked.
    Here it is: "This. I've seen cars do it to semis and get hit. It's stupid to let your impatience put you in a dangerous situation.")

    Isn't it all about being aware and choosing the safe option?

    How many of these cars drove to the right of a semi with a right blinker on? Probably most of them. Some folks put so little thought into driving they simply ignore all the clues.

    For those who do assess the situation and consider the possibilities this type of right turn can be done safely, when the conditions allow.

    If the circumstances don't allow this safely, don't do it.

    If a rider doesn't want to assess the situation and weigh the data before committing, don't do it.

    Every situation is different. As many examples can be made for one argument as for the other. Bottom line is more about situational awareness than any gross generalization stating that it "always" safe or unsafe to do so.

    Granted, for those whose life is full of belief in such generalizations it is probably best that they act as safely as possible, mostly because their mindset will hinder the process of assessment.

    As always, YMMV.
    #26
  7. IronJackWhitton

    IronJackWhitton Been here awhile

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    Can be Dangerous, in my opinion, but obviously it depends on the intersection.

    Lets say you are rolling up on your bike along the right hand side of cars because you are turning right, and the cars are going straight.

    If oncoming traffic has an advanced green, they will just go and turn. And if the right-turn is into single lane, they may not see you turning right and when a car and bike attempt to both occupy the same lane, the bike looses.

    I had this happen to me a month ago. Narrowly avoided becoming overly intimate with a Subuaru with minor hail damage on the hood -- Yes, it was close enough for me to observe that -- and all due to oncoming traffic having an advanced green.
    #27
  8. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    I guess my question to you is: Why were you sitting so far left in your lane when you were preparing to turn right? Junior High Drivers' Ed classes teach a person to move to the right side of the lane for a right turn. Left side of lane for a left turn.

    You left room for the guy to go by. I'd have done the same thing that rider did.

    You left it open for him...

    :deal
    #28
  9. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    "Advanced Green" ? Do street departments still use "Delayed Green" instead of left turn arrows? I haven't seen a Delayed Green on a city street since I was a kid.

    When you're turning right on a red, you are supposed to yield to any traffic. If you were on your bike and turning right, you should've yielded to the left-turning Subie.
    #29
  10. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

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    I try not to be judgmental. I would help by moving a little if I could. When someone wants to pass real bad, I move over to the right when it looks good, over the shoulder line. They always give me a good margin when they pass. Some roads are just too large to block traffic with a scooter.
    http://youtu.be/Dx3q2TmfveA Like these guys on Heinkels in Thailand I think. Interesting how they use the road.
    #30
  11. der_saeufer

    der_saeufer ?איפה בירה

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    Don't forget the 200' rule in California, though...

    21209 VC. (a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane established on a roadway pursuant to Section 21207 except as follows:
    ...
    (3) To prepare for a turn within a distance of 200 feet from the intersection.

    I used that all the time to squirt past 4 or so cars when I was turning right but they weren't.

    (and don't forget that you are required to block the bike lane for some unspecified distance when turning, 21717 VC. People that turn across bike lanes p!ss me off because most of them don't use their blinkers.)
    #31
  12. IronJackWhitton

    IronJackWhitton Been here awhile

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    Absolutely correct, I should have yielded.

    I'm not 100% sure what you mean by delayed green -- in my city we sometimes have "advanced green" in which a left turn arrow allows for left turning traffic before the general green light allows other traffic to proceed; we also sometimes have this same arrow AFTER the general green. It's always a separate light -- it doesn't always face both ways though (i.e. one direction of traffic may have a delayed green left turn arrow but the other does not). This was that situation.

    So, I saw the lights facing me go to yellow, so I snuck around to the right of the car in front of me to make the turn. I did the usual check for traffic coming from the left (thinking the oncoming cars making a left turn also had a red light). Seeing the traffic from the left not moving yet, I proceeded into my turn.

    The Subaru got her left turn arrow and whipped left, just as I was half way through my right turn. She didn't see me making my right turn; I presume because of the vehicle I was sneaking beside (it still wasn't her fault in my opinion).

    She managed to stop before hitting me on the side, and I sheepishly gave her an apologetic wave and drove off.

    Still - had I waited my turn, I would not have been sneaking beside a vehicle, and the Subaru would have had a better chance of seeing me earlier, and I of seeing them starting to move.

    Now I know we are all responsible for our own safety and can't control other drivers and drive like your invisible etc. -- I get all that, but made a mistake, which was compounded by the behavior highlighted by the OP's question. So I think while in some cases this is a perfectly fine technique to use, it can increase the risk in some intersections.

    Regards
    Craig
    #32
  13. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Watch for pedestrians crossing left to right just in front of the first car in line....... and for suddenly opening doors..... yes, I have ended up in the rear seat of a taxi that way. :1drink
    #33
  14. jmq3rd

    jmq3rd .

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    Depends.

    If I know the light just turned red, so I know it won't turn green as I'm beside the car wanting to turn right.

    And I can see that the car in front of me with their blinker on does not have room to go by, so I know the car with their blinker on isn't just waiting for something I can't see.

    AND I can reasonably infer that the car in front of that car is not going to turn right (takes more than a lack of turn signals).

    Then I would go.

    I've had people pull to the right of me to make a right turn when I was trying to turn right. In this particular case the road is poorly designed, as the right turn lane is a full lane width away from the right curb. But it wasn't cool for me to check for traffic and start to proceed to find that somebody else had placed their driver's door where I was trying to go. I've also seen people wait for a few seconds before deciding they had enough room to squeeeze by in their car.
    #34
  15. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    one thing to keep in mind is that sometimes, people turn without using their turn signals (ok, more than just sometimes...).

    just because the guy at the front of the line does not have his turn signal on, does not mean he is not waiting to turn right on red. further, some people stare left waiting for a hole it traffic when they are doing that and don't check back to the right before going when they have a hole. (they should not do that, obviously, but you have to deal with what people actually do...not what they should do.)

    this can all add up to he and you colliding if you are filtering along the right to turn right on red.

    just something to keep in mind and be careful of.
    #35
  16. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    I've never heard a "left turn arrow" referred to as an "advanced green", that's why I thought you meant "delayed green".

    Basically, a "delayed green" was something used before the "left turn arrows" and left turn lanes came into common practice. In a delayed green, one direction of traffic would get the green before the other direction, allowing the traffic getting the green first to turn left. There would be a "Delayed Green" sign posted on the arm holding the traffic light. The delay would be something like 5-seconds, allowing a couple cars to turn left before the opposing traffic started moving. Obviously, this was not something for real high traffic. I used to see this in my hometown on streets near downtown that had no left turn lane. But, it's been thirty years since I've seen one.
    #36
  17. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    I agree not the safest move. If the car in front of me isn't turning I would squeak by however if there is one or more cars waiting to turn I wait.

    I'm just not in that big of a hurry.
    #37
  18. ShaftEd

    ShaftEd Long timer

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    Nice, thanks for the info.:1drink
    #38
  19. Kent Glasscock

    Kent Glasscock Been here awhile

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    Kind of a reiteration of what other's have posted. For me. If I have to turn right at an intersection. And on the street in front of the light has one of those arrows where one goes straight and the other turns right and there is ONE car waiting at the light then I will go between said car and sidewalk or parked cars to take a right turn on red. And yes, I do keep to the left if I'm in the right lane so that cars can turn right (hope that didn't sound confusing).

    I asked a police friend of mine and he said it's okay to do but if there is more than one care in front and I try then it's illegal. Do different states have different rules on this? I know for instance, NC is one of the few states you cannot take a left turn on red when entering a one way street.

    Quick story, Going to work at 6am about a month ago came to the usual single lane stop light intersection right before I enter my work place (just like the one described above). No cars around except the one in front. Light was red. For some reason, the lady stopped more than a car length from the line. Left blinker on. I'm turning right so I filter between her and the parked car. Plenty of room between us but still cautious. Sure enough, I get the honk. First time I ever had that happen so I just stopped, turned around, and pointed to the pavement arrows, and continued on. I guess she thought I wasn't being safe or I was doing something illegal. Meh.
    #39
  20. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    If you don't stop you won't get rear ended.
    #40