Ask the Edmonds Cop: Turning right on red when opposing traffic is turning left

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Edmonds Police Sgt. Shane Hawley reveals the rules of the road about making a right turn at a red light when opposing traffic has a left green arrow.

3 Replies to “Ask the Edmonds Cop: Turning right on red when opposing traffic is turning left”

  1. Great discussion of motor vehicle rights-of-way. My personal view of drivers of all ages is that they either do not know the right-of-way rules, particularly at intersections, or they do not know how to apply them in real life settings. It often results in “you go, no you go, no you go, etc.” or the most aggressive driver “takes” the right-of-way. Either way often results in an accident or some degree of road rage.

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    1. Couldn’t agree more with Gerry Tays. I used to be an examiner for state Driver Licensing, worked in 5 offices in Snohomish & King counties for 7 1/2 years. The DOL doesn’t do its job. It pays lip service to the rules, but the attitude is “Get ’em out the door!” I was forced to issue licenses to people with advanced Parkinson’s, dementia, Alzheimer’s, people who spoke not even three words of English (How can they read any signs?), etc. I was repeatedly told by a supervisor that I had too high a failure rate on drive tests. She said, “You need to bring it down to 25%; right now, you are at almost 40%.” It was an extremely frustrating job, as well as working in a toxic work environment with slave-driver supervisors who did not accept any suggestions for improvement. I was forced to retire at age 55 to save my sanity and my health.

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  2. This was actually my question — I moved here years back from New York, which has, shall we say, a different driving culture. I’m usually impressed by how patient and understanding drivers are here, at least when I’m not in a hurry.

    I will confess while sitting waiting for that light to turn green I’ve been tempted to swing over into that right lane, but I will continue to resist the urge. Thanks for the clarification!

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