Most drivers are aware that it is acceptable to turn right at a right light in most situations unless a “no turn on red” sign is present. However, many motorists may encounter a situation where it seems safe and legal to turn left at a red light.
Traffic signals exist to keep everyone safe when other drivers are taking their turns to cross an intersection. In cases where turning left onto a one-way street would not interfere with other traffic, one might wonder if doing so is actually legal.
Turning left at a red light
The Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles outlines traffic signal legal and safety guidelines. According to the state’s DMV, it is acceptable to turn left from a one-way street onto another one-way street during a red light unless a sign is present to indicate otherwise. Drivers must still yield to pedestrians and any oncoming traffic proceeding straight through the intersection.
Avoiding a car accident
Drivers must take care to remember that turning left at a steady red light is only legal in Pennsylvania when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street. Turning left on red in any other situation, or failing to yield to traffic with the right-of-way, is dangerous and illegal. In addition to infringing the law, careless turning may also result in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident.
While turning left at a one-way onto another one-way during a red light is perfectly safe and legal in most cases, motorists should always be aware of specific road signage. Failing to notice a sign that prohibits an otherwise acceptable act can have disastrous consequences.