LANES OF THE ROAD
The best drivers in the world would be hazards on
the roads without boundaries. Put 10 cars on the road without
lanes, and chaos would reign supreme. Lanes on the road allow
vehicles to share the highway safely. Knowing the laws that
surround these lanes will help you become a better driver.
C. Left Turns - ...
1. Two-Way Left Turn Lane - This lane is located in the center of busy streets and painted with solid yellow outside lines and dashed yellow lines on the inside of the lane. You may enter this lane to begin or complete a left turn only. You may proceed in this lane for a limited amount of time, or up to 300 feet. When the two-way left turn lane ends into a regular left turn lane, you may transition from the two-way lane into the regular lane and continue driving for an indefinite length of time.
Examples of right and wrong?
|Suicide Lanes ?
Georgia DOT's Most Dangerous Facilities?
| Maybe if
Everyone knew and obeyed the Laws concerning these
Maybe they would be safe then.
I have been asked by members of the Macon Police Department to try to educate citizens on traffic laws. With the editors permission, I will try to do so.
Sunday, 6/5/2011, Telegraph Viewpoints:
There are a number of streets and highways in Middle Georgia that have a center deceleration lane.
This lane, which is marked by solid yellow or broken yellow lines, is in the center of the street and is solely to slow down to make left turns. A motorist desiring to turn left should proceed to the turn lane just prior to making a left turn.
They may enter this lane no more than 300 feet from the location of the left turn. Georgia law prohibits the use of this lane for any purpose other than making a left turn. In other words, drivers are not allowed to use the lane for acceleration.
They can be ticketed if they pull out of a parking lot and stop in the lane waiting for a break in traffic or if they pull into the lane to pick up speed to merge into the regular traffic lane.
Finally, when a common turning lane is provided for vehicles traveling in both directions, drivers should use extreme caution before entering the turning lane to make a left turn.
There may be a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction entering the turning lane to make a left turn. This is especially problematic in congested areas.
There have been some problems on Gray Highway, Forsyth Road and Pio Nono Avenue. Police will be watching these areas, so do not be surprised if you are cited for this violation.
-- Robert (Bobby) Faulkner
City of Macon Municipal Court, Judge
Read more: http://www.macon.com/2011/06/05/1584129/this-is-viewpoints-for-sunday.html
| Georgia Drivers
Manual 2013. This was revised 6/1/2013:
|Great article and Comments
show the confusion that leads to ignorant and illegal -
Dangerous Driving Behaviors
Traffic talk: Can drivers use the center left turn lane for merging with traffic?
This week's traffic talk deals with a topic I get A LOT of questions about.
When I say a lot, I mean that at last count I had no less than 20 emails and comments from readers asking me to clarify the rules for using the center left turn lane for merging with traffic.
Like this one, from reader Mark:
And this one, from reader Navin:
Is it okay for motorists wishing to enter a roadway by taking a left turn out of a driveway to turn into the left-turn lane and cruise/get up to speed and wait for an opening before merging right? I think not. What if I wanted to turn left from the main road into a parking lot but there was another car driving down the center left turn-lane wanting to merge right, into my lane? It is my understanding that one must wait until traffic from both directions clear completely before making a left turn out of a parking lot/driveway so they can go directly into the driving lane and not the center turn lane.
Of course I went to Michigan State Police traffic law expert Sgt. Mike Church for clarification.
This was one those questions where Church said he immediately knew the answer.
"It is not legal to use a turn lane in that way," Church said.
"The hard part is explaining why it is not legal," he said. "Trust me, if this is a difficult question for me then it will be difficult for the general public."
Church said his predecessor, Sgt. Lance Cook, sent him an e-mail in January that gives a succinct explanation:
That e-mail said, "[W]hen I developed
that course and taught it for MSU, I clearly advised that
the left turn lane was not available as a merge or
acceleration lane, and is only available for use by
vehicles for a reasonable distance in preparation for a
left-hand turn from an adjacent lane... The tricky part of
all of this is that this is not specified in the Michigan
Vehicle Code but is found in the Michigan Manual on
Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD) and applied to
Vehicle Code through (this section
to this section)."
The Michigan Vehicle Code does not say whether driving in the turn lane is allowed. But, Church said, the vehicle code does say the MMUTCD determines what signs, lane markings, etc. mean. And, under the MMUTCD, driving in a turn lane is not allowed.
To make matters worse, he said, the MMUTCD is 836 pages long, and written for traffic engineers.
"In other words, it is a technical manual that is not easily accessible to the public," Church said.
"I can e-mail you a PDF of the MMUTCD, but it certainly is not enjoyable reading," he added.
Yeeeeeah. I really don't think I'll be reading that anytime soon. I'm just going to choose to believe Cook and Church know best.
So, to recap. It is illegal to use the center turn lane to merge with traffic.
Please don't ask me to explain why (see above complicated answer).
As always, please let us know what other traffic laws you'd like us to tackle. You can leave those questions below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally, just so you readers know, this is the last time I will be posting traffic talk.
You'll still be able to get your traffic talk fix, as the plan is for this MLive feature to continue. It's just that my replacement is yet to be named.
In the meantime, this is me signing off.
I have enjoyed answering your questions and learning new things right along with the rest of you. Thank you so much for reading.
Let's just call the lanes what they are: Suicide
Lanes. There has to be a better system out
Most states the law is almost opposite(because you can
use it but not for acceleration) of Michigan:
To a cop, everything is illegal, and there are no
victims, only suspects. Wrong person to ask. Also, this
is largely a fault of the poor road designs used in
Michigan. Boulevards divided by a raised bed with
vegetation and LEGAL U-turns at the lights, combined
with smart light technology, are the way to go. No way
to make a left except at a light. It improves traffic
flow and safety dramatically. Of course, Michigan is
50-years behind the times in traffic light technology,
and it takes 5-10 years of fine tuning to get smart
lights working perfectly, so, maybe in 100 years we'll
see some improvement.
It is very unnerving for me to make a left on these
busy multi lane streets , so unless there is a big hole
were I can make hard left I try to avoid it . I have
been known to go right , then left ,then back right ,
now.... some may think I am a doddering old man for
doing this but I keep up with traffic once I get going
in the direction I want to go.
It is called a LEFT TURN LANE---- for a reason.
Ok, we'll see. I've never heard of anyone being cited.
I'll take the chance and save a lot of time, for myself
and for everyone behind me. I've done that "stunt"
thousands of times with no problems.
i find an easy way to look at it is ; it is a left turn
lane, if you aren't making a left-turn then keep out of
it . . .
Greeby, you put a lot a faith in other drivers that may
or may not come from out of nowhere when you perform
that stunt. when you get ticketed for improper lane use,
don't cry. with arrows clearly showing "left turn" along
with that little sign that says "center lane left only",
you're are wrong and I hope you get cited and don't hurt
anyone in the process of you ignorance.
Nice to see our laws are clearly written and accessible
to the people whose behavior they regulate.
It's illegal, but I can't explain why.
Sounds like some of that Patriot Act nonsense.
There should be a distinction between using the left
turn lane for ACCELERATING and merging into traffic, and
merely sitting there waiting for traffic to clear up so
you can merge right. It sounds the like expert in the
article says that it is illegal because you aren't
allowed to DRIVE in that lane. Cruising down the lane at
full speed waiting for an opening seems like a terrible
idea, but sitting there waiting for an opening seems
fine to me.
That's because "Lazy Lefts" are MOST hazardous when the merging car is in motion and therefore warrant the most attention. However, sitting there with your right turn signal on also represents a hazard and is also illegal in Michigan. The problem in both cases is that the primary concentration of the merging driver is at their rear when the center left turn lane is used for bi-directional traffic. There have been plenty cars of executing a legal left turn out of the center lane get nailed by a stopped merging car in the center lane who, seeing the same opening, guns it while still concentrating over their shoulder.
The bottom line is that it's a "Left Turn Only" lane in Michigan and not a "Mostly Left Turns, But If You're In a Hurry and Need To Pull Out and Stop and Merge Right Then That's OK Too" lane.
"Why is it so unclear?"
I agree, and I don't understand the sentiment that this law can only be known if you know the MDOT "secret handshake" or went to law school.
I enjoy the comments from people saying that using the
center left turn lane is the ONLY way to make a left
onto a busy street. I can't say I've never violated
traffic laws, but this is one area that I won't make an
exception on. I don't do it, and I've never been stuck
for more than a couple of minutes waiting for traffic to
clear. You can tell yourself there's no other way, but
it's not true. You're just impatient.
I think that the communities have a responsibility,
then, to make sure that the roads and signals increase
as traffic flow increases so that people CAN make a left
turn. In some roads, there is literally NO opportunity
to get a clearing because of the way traffic control
devices are set up.
This is a no-brainer. When crossing traffic to make a
left turn is difficult, time-consuming, or dangerous, it
is obvious that an alternative should be selected. Turn
right, drive until a safe, and legal 180 can be made.
Sometimes, in life, you have to go backward to go
forward and vice versa. How many times have we seen
idiotic drivers try to cross a road, stop in the middle
with the rear end of the car blocking through traffic?
These people are simply too lazy, impatient,
inconsiderate, or stupid to go a few extra feet rather
than create a potential accident situation..........And
many driving schools need to go to
school.........Driving techniques are very poorly taught
in most driving schools...........
this is my biggest pet peeve ever, it is illegal
because it causes accidents, its actually quite simple
to explain to the morons that dont understand why they
cant do it
Using the left turn lane as a merge lane from making a
left turn is not legal, end of story. That isn't to say
that it isn't done. However, ask any police officer what
would happen if said person from said left turn lane
were to cause an accident by either merging at the wrong
time or attempting to curse to get up to speed and
running into a motorist who is making a legal left turn.
I can tell you that I know for sure who's going to get a
ticket out of that incident every single time.
The left hand turn lane is for turning left. Simple as
This is so typical. Why can't they write laws in easy
to understand straight forward language. What should be
so simple; center turn lane can not be used as a merge
or ecceleration lane, is instead buried in an engineers
manual. They say ignorance of the law is no excuse but
if you give me a driving manual, tell me to learn it and
then write me a ticket for not following a rule written
in another code book I don't even have access to is a
It isn't "buried"... If you look on page 70 of the
"What Every Driver Must Know" booklet published by the
SoS's office for people wishing to get a MI driver's
license it addresses this issue: "Never use a turning
lane as a merge lane to pull out into traffic or to
overtake and pass other vehicles."
"The hard part is explaining why it is not legal."
Really? Visualize someone using it illegally as
acceleration/merging lane meeting up with a car heading
in the opposite direction trying to use the lane to make
a legal left turn. Don't see a problem there? Or, how
about a car wanting to merge into the lane to make a
legal left turn but cannot because some schmuck next to
them is using it as their own personal acceleration
Many other thoughtful comments are posted on the
original site for this article: