Monday, February 1, 2010

Turn left on red?

My final blog post about the recent trip back to England : why aren't they allowed to turn left on red? The equivalent of turning right on red in America? It solves so many congestion issues at junctions and intersections and it's so obvious. Because I now live in America but go back and forth with some regularity, it's always difficult for me to not turn left on red for the first day or so when I go back. I'm so used to doing it at home and it comes so naturally, that I have to think hard to stop myself breaking the law in England. Although having said that there have been several occasions where I've done exactly that - absent-mindedly breezed through a left turn lane on a red light because nothing was coming. Fortunately I've never been spotted doing this by anyone in officialdom but I'm sure it'll happen one of these days.


Silas said...

And here I thought you were going to be talking about the Los Angeles left turn (completed after the light turns red, since that's when everyone going straight has stopped blocking you) or maybe you'd seen what I did a few weeks ago, which was someone making a left turn on red from a one-way street (onto a two-way street; one of the most idiotic things I've seen done...)

It would make sense to allow left turns on red in the UK, but it would also muck about with the supposed conditioning of "red means stop", and is probably considered too complicated a concept for the mythical average driver to grasp, not least because it requires actual judgement rather than simply rote following of rules. Also, I've had people honk at me any number of times when I've been waiting for a chance to turn right on a red, and the light's gone green without me noticing it...

Paul said...

I got a bloody ticket a couple of nights ago for running a red light. What did I do (or not do might be more accurate)? I didn't come to a complete stop when turning right on a red... apparently.
The fact that no-one was coming and the cop was sitting 50 feet up the road with his lights off is irrelevant, so he said.

What an ass!

The rule is a good one but a little common sense by the cops would go a long way as well.