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Left turn across traffic, where do you wait?

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View Poll Results: What do you do?
Pull into the intersection, turn when light goes yellow/red
79
83.16%
Wait at the light, wait another cycle when the light goes yellow/red
14
14.74%
I don't wait for nuthin
2
2.11%
Voters: 95. You may not vote on this poll

Left turn across traffic, where do you wait?

Old 01-04-06, 11:04 AM
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Left turn across traffic, where do you wait?

This is sort of a rant, sort of a poll. I was always taught that in general, when you are trying to make a left turn, say you have a green light but no green turn arrow, you pull in to the middle of the intersection. If you never get an opportunity to complete the turn while the light is green, you at least can finish the turn when the light goes yellow/red. It can be important to do this, because if that light has no turn arrow, if you don't pull into the intersection nobody will ever make a turn, you could -- in theory -- wait there for a very long time.

However, I see many people wait at the light, sitting there, and continue to sit there as the light goes yellow/red. Frustrates the hell out of me when I am sitting behind them, because there's no point. We end up sitting there forever because they won't pull out into the intersection.

Am I wrong? Are they wrong? Or is it one of those tomato potato things?

Edit: I realize there are occasional situations where pulling into the intersection may be dangerous, I'm not talking about those, just talking about the run of the mill intersection.

Last edited by LurkerDan; 01-04-06 at 11:06 AM.
Old 01-04-06, 11:06 AM
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As long as a turn is permitted, you pull into the intersection but do NOT turn your wheels. You then proceed when traffic permits, likely on a yellow in high traffic.

If you don't get through on the yellow because some jerk is running the light, you catch part of the red.

It's not okay for a second car to follow suit in that case just because the guy ahead of them was already in the intersection.
Old 01-04-06, 11:07 AM
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I dont think theres any law that says one or the other, but Im with you on this one. Pull out so maybe one or two of you can go once the light turns yellow. A person could get shot out here if they just sat there through numerous lights without ever making a move.
Old 01-04-06, 11:10 AM
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Intersection, turn on yellow/red. It annoys me to no end people who stay behind the line and then can't make the turn by the end of the cycle.
Old 01-04-06, 11:11 AM
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I swear the next person that does that to me is getting pushed up where they belong.
Old 01-04-06, 11:26 AM
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Pull into the middle of the intersection. Not doing so is pure dumbassery and will definitely provoke me into calling you a f*cking idiot from the safety of my car with the windows closed and shaking my pathetic, impotent little fist at you.
Old 01-04-06, 11:29 AM
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You should enter the intersection. It is legal to make the turn, even on a red, if you are already in the intersection. It's called clearing the intersection and traffic systems usually have an all red phase of 2-3 seconds to allow this, the exact time can vary according to the width and configuration of the intersection.
Old 01-04-06, 11:29 AM
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I've been pulling into the intersection ever since I consistantly observed police cars doing the same thing.
Old 01-04-06, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by happycamper
I dont think theres any law that says one or the other, but Im with you on this one.
In Illinois the law says that you can complete a turn after the green if you have already entered the intersection. That goes for the first car as well as the next car or two that may have moved into the intersection. We routinely wait for a few cars to finish left turns on reds here.
Old 01-04-06, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by wmansir
You should enter the intersection. It is legal to make the turn, even on a red, if you are already in the intersection.


Cop friend told me the same thing not long ago. At least in Virginia it is legal to turn if you're already in the intersection when the light turns red.
Old 01-04-06, 11:32 AM
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I believe that it is illegal (here in Phoenix, at least) to pull into the intersection, and that you are actually supposed to wait behind the line to make your left. Now pulling into the intersection isn't something you'll get a ticket for since everyone does it, but it's apparently illegal nonetheless.

At least this is what I learned at traffic school in July.
Old 01-04-06, 11:33 AM
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ok, it's 12 to nothing, what I want to know now is: who the fuck are the people that wait at the line and let the light turn red????
Old 01-04-06, 11:33 AM
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Maybe the procedures on this vary from state to state, but pulling into the intersection is standard here.

Just don't turn your wheels, people. Don't turn your wheels!
Old 01-04-06, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by lopper
I believe that it is illegal (here in Phoenix, at least) to pull into the intersection, and that you are actually supposed to wait behind the line to make your left. Now pulling into the intersection isn't something you'll get a ticket for since everyone does it, but it's apparently illegal nonetheless.

At least this is what I learned at traffic school in July.
so it's you!

Old 01-04-06, 11:34 AM
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As I understand it, you're supposed to pull into the intersection and go when there is a break in traffic.

This is what I always do.

If the light changes to red, I just go. But I pull forward far enough that more than one person can turn left.

It pisses me off when people don't pull forward at all. These are the people who wind up staying there for two or three cycles of the light because they don't have the balls to learn how to drive properly.
Old 01-04-06, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by LurkerDan
ok, it's 12 to nothing, what I want to know now is: who the fuck are the people that wait at the line and let the light turn red????
People that are too stupid to know better.
Old 01-04-06, 11:40 AM
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The usual scenario here is that the lead car will make the turn when the light goes red (since opposing traffic will rush the yellow into red), the car behind, who is also partly in the intersection, will follow, and the two cars behind him will rush through, fully running the red light.

On the rare occasion the lead car sits like a piece of firm shit behind the line, they get the wimpy fist-shaking that Hiro11 was talking about.
Old 01-04-06, 11:41 AM
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See, this is why you need a former police cruiser with that enormous grill still attached. When people are too wimpy to move into the intersection, you can give them a little push without damaging your car.
Old 01-04-06, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kantonburg


Cop friend told me the same thing not long ago. At least in Virginia it is legal to turn if you're already in the intersection when the light turns red.

Interesting you mention this. I grew up and starting driving in Maryland where it seemed that everyone practiced the intersection method, but now that I have lived in VA for about a decade, I've noticed many (perhaps most) Virginia drivers stay behind the line.
Old 01-04-06, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
In Illinois the law says that you can complete a turn after the green if you have already entered the intersection. That goes for the first car as well as the next car or two that may have moved into the intersection. We routinely wait for a few cars to finish left turns on reds here.
Michigan, too. And the 2nd car will pull right up on your bumper to get an inch of his bumper across the line. It is polite to give him room to do so.
Old 01-04-06, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by LurkerDan
ok, it's 12 to nothing, what I want to know now is: who the fuck are the people that wait at the line and let the light turn red????
It's the same folks that come to a complete stop in the merge lane of a freeway entrance.





Another scenario is when you are going STRAIGHT, but traffic is backed up into the intersection... Do you stay behind the line until it is clear to do so, or do you tailgate the person in front of you through the intersection and risk getting "trapped" if the light turns?

Last edited by Y2K Falcon; 01-04-06 at 11:57 AM.
Old 01-04-06, 11:55 AM
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I pull into the intersection far enough that I can still see the top light. So pulling into intersection is good in my book. The retard who is four cars back when the light turns yellow and still goes should be shot though.
Old 01-04-06, 11:55 AM
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Pull into the intersection. God damn do I hate the people who don't do that.
Old 01-04-06, 12:01 PM
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Pull into the intersection can sometimes be a bit extreme depending on the intersection. At least be over the white line and generally pointed in the direction you want to go.
Old 01-04-06, 12:02 PM
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If I'm stuck behind someone turning left and I want to go straight, I will either wait for them to go, or I will swing around them if it is safe to do so.

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