Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:00 PM
Anny Middon is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,235

"This vehicle does not turn right on red" -- why not?


I followed a vehicle (a small van that looked like a passenger van) yesterday. It had a decal on the back that said that it did not make a right turn on a red light. Why would the owner (this was for a local health-care system) prohibit drivers from turning right on red?
  #2  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:09 PM
beowulff's Avatar
beowulff is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Scottsdale, more-or-less
Posts: 16,875
It's (more) dangerous.
Turining right on red is "unprotected" - if you mis-judge, or don't see an oncoming car, you can get hit.
Waiting until the light turns green protects you from most of those possibilities.
  #3  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:22 PM
friedo's Avatar
friedo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 24,450
Buses around here don't turn ROR either. I assume it's because it takes them longer to get through the intersection and it may be difficult to see if someone is coming from the left once the bus is mid-turn.
  #4  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:26 PM
brossa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
It's (more) dangerous.
Turining right on red is "unprotected" - if you mis-judge, or don't see an oncoming car, you can get hit.
Waiting until the light turns green protects you from most of those possibilities.
Well, it shields the vehicle/business owner from the liability associated with an employee making the decision that a turn is OK.
  #5  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:27 PM
eschrodinger's Avatar
eschrodinger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 256
It's also very discretionary, so for a business in particular, it might be a way of limiting liability.

Ninja'd.

Last edited by eschrodinger; 10-18-2019 at 04:27 PM.
  #6  
Old 10-18-2019, 11:09 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 29,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by brossa View Post
Well, it shields the vehicle/business owner from the liability associated with an employee making the decision that a turn is OK.
That's not how vicarious liability works. The employer would still likely be liable for an accident caused by the driver.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."

Last edited by Northern Piper; 10-18-2019 at 11:10 PM.
  #7  
Old 10-19-2019, 05:02 AM
eschrodinger's Avatar
eschrodinger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 256
I'm not the one you responded to, but my post in a similar vein wasn't meant to say that the company would be absolved if the driver turned anyway. The point was that you don't have to turn, but if you do decide to, and there's an accident, it will very likely be your fault. So prohibiting it would stop driver's from doing something they don't need to do, and which is a source of potential liability.
  #8  
Old 10-19-2019, 05:34 AM
Die Capacitrix's Avatar
Die Capacitrix is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 110
Is the U.S. the only country that allows, with some exceptions, right on red? I've always understood it to be permitted for the driver, that is, the driver can decide if they want to turn right on red. The driver has no obligation to turn right on red.

And the people honking at the person who does not want to turn red are being rude. So maybe the company is trying to help their drivers by putting such a decal, in addition to making the rule.
  #9  
Old 10-19-2019, 05:43 AM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 42,965
No, it's something that's allowed in multiple countries in the Americas, but not in every location within those countries.


I find it interesting (for lack of a better word) that nobody has mentioned the possibility of pedestrians. That American drivers are so unused to those strange people is one of the things that makes being one in the US very dangerous.
  #10  
Old 10-19-2019, 07:17 AM
albino_manatee's Avatar
albino_manatee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: enceladus-prime, nibiru
Posts: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
" I find it interesting (for lack of a better word) that nobody has mentioned the possibility of pedestrians. That American drivers are so unused to those strange people is one of the things that makes being one in the US very dangerous. "
valid point, nava and exactly the reason i logged in. aside from pedestrians, plenty of other concerns to be cautious and for companies to not allow their drivers the ror convenience. skateboards 'n scooters 'n bicycles 'n pedestrians 'n wheelchairs valid reasons for a company to disallow it. doesn't matter if the driver turning operates a 72 passenger school bus or a motorcycle himself.

as to those waiting behind they're just being self-centered egomaniacs. turning ror is not required.

fwiw straightdope.com hosts another older thread:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=663070
__________________
at one point in time, i was offered a wooden scīpiō (handstaff) after a time, i slowly 'n methodically whittled that cane down until it became one ginormous toothpick.
  #11  
Old 10-19-2019, 07:27 AM
Mijin's Avatar
Mijin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 9,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
Is the U.S. the only country that allows, with some exceptions, right on red?
Here in China, right on red is allowed.

However, one effect is that drivers turning right barely slow down, since it doesn't matter whether their light is green or red. And on a green light they may weave around, at speed, pedestrians trying to cross the perpendicular street.

So the rule was changed this year such that you can turn right, but if it's an actual pedestrian crossing, and there is anyone crossing, you must wait (regardless of whether you think there is a gap). It's made things a lot safer.

But yeah, right on red in China.

Last edited by Mijin; 10-19-2019 at 07:31 AM.
  #12  
Old 10-19-2019, 08:11 AM
bob++ is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 6,833
Over here 'Left' on red is totally prohibited. Some junctions have a green arrow to allow left turns when straight on is still red, but in the absence of that, we stay put and wait. I believe this rule applies right across Europe.

The rule seems to be very risky to me anyway.
  #13  
Old 10-19-2019, 08:26 AM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 41,125
In the 70s the US started going nationwide with right turn on red. It took a while as one state at a time converted, but not throughout the state all the time. Many large cities didn't allow right on red, in NYC it was only allowed if there was a sign permitting it. Where it is allowed there are plenty of 'No Right Turn on Red' signs, and they are routinely ignored. I'm not sure how the left turn on green arrow thing is spreading, many states allowed left turns when the main light was green and had an arrow also, then some began to change that.

Last edited by TriPolar; 10-19-2019 at 08:27 AM.
  #14  
Old 10-19-2019, 08:40 AM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 20,029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
I find it interesting (for lack of a better word) that nobody has mentioned the possibility of pedestrians. That American drivers are so unused to those strange people is one of the things that makes being one in the US very dangerous.
Not my experience, in California during the 20th century. (Are California drivers much different now than they were 30 years ago?)

"Joke": One thing California driving and Thailand driving have in common is that pedestrian crossings are completely ignored:
  • In California the pedestrian always has the right of way. Start to cross anywhere, even without crossing marks, and traffic will come to a halt.
  • In Thailand the pedestrian never has the right of way. An oncoming car won't even slow down, with or without crossing marks; you're risking death to cross.

Last edited by septimus; 10-19-2019 at 08:40 AM.
  #15  
Old 10-19-2019, 09:54 AM
yabob is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,981
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
In the 70s the US started going nationwide with right turn on red. It took a while as one state at a time converted, but not throughout the state all the time. Many large cities didn't allow right on red, in NYC it was only allowed if there was a sign permitting it. Where it is allowed there are plenty of 'No Right Turn on Red' signs, and they are routinely ignored. I'm not sure how the left turn on green arrow thing is spreading, many states allowed left turns when the main light was green and had an arrow also, then some began to change that.
The last state was Massachusetts, which allowed it in 1980. Yeah, it's so expected now that in a few cases where it really needs to be prevented they have to put up about a half dozen warnings. There's a good example in Cupertino, CA. If you take the Stevens Creek exit off 85 north bound, at the junction with the street, there is another street entering the intersection to your immediate right only about 20 feet away from you joining at a very acute angle to you, and obscured by shrubbery until you are right on top of the intersection. It is an exit from the DeAnza college campus, and it gets a green light to cross Stevens Creek and get on 85 when you have the red.
  #16  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:53 AM
guizot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 8,785
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Not my experience, in California during the 20th century. (Are California drivers much different now than they were 30 years ago?)
It completely depends upon the period of development of the area. Downtown L.A. and Hollywood were developed when pedestrians and street cars were just as dominant as cars. As a result, even today the urban design there instills in drivers an awareness of pedestrians. Century City, as well as most suburban malls, on the other hand, were developed to promote vehicle egress, so when you walk into places like that, you do indeed feel like an alien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
  • In California the pedestrian always has the right of way. Start to cross anywhere, even without crossing marks, and traffic will come to a halt.
  • In Thailand the pedestrian never has the right of way. An oncoming car won't even slow down, with or without crossing marks; you're risking death to cross.
Same in Colombia. Pedestrians there may not be alien, but they still are fair game for vehicle hunting.
  #17  
Old 10-19-2019, 11:22 AM
Alpha Twit's Avatar
Alpha Twit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere south of normal
Posts: 2,441
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anny Middon View Post
I followed a vehicle (a small van that looked like a passenger van) yesterday. It had a decal on the back that said that it did not make a right turn on a red light. Why would the owner (this was for a local health-care system) prohibit drivers from turning right on red?
A passenger van for a health care organization? It sounds like a vehicle that transports people to and from their appointments with their care professionals. People that, while mobile are possibly ill, frail or elderly. People that would appreciate a smooth, uneventful ride. It's not unthinkable that the operators of such a service may forbid their drivers from turning right on red to help accomplish this. Right-on-red turns can often be rather abrupt due to the need to execute the maneuver quickly and merge with flowing traffic. By forbidding this outright, they are removing a temptation for the driver and not only improving the safety for the passengers but also their comfort.
__________________
There's plenty few problems in this life that can't be helped by a good day's work, a good night's sleep and a few swift kicks in the right asses.

Last edited by Alpha Twit; 10-19-2019 at 11:25 AM.
  #18  
Old 10-19-2019, 12:22 PM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 20,029
Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
... Downtown L.A. and Hollywood were developed when pedestrians and street cars were just as dominant as cars. As a result, even today the urban design there instills in drivers an awareness of pedestrians. Century City, as well as most suburban malls, on the other hand, were developed to promote vehicle egress, so when you walk into places like that, you do indeed feel like an alien....
I should have specified Northern California. Or, better yet, the Southwestern part of Northifornia!

(With sharp linguistic and cultural differences, and even divergent driving policies, California really should be split up into multiple states! )
  #19  
Old 10-19-2019, 01:25 PM
Monty's Avatar
Monty is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 23,624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
Is the U.S. the only country that allows, with some exceptions, right on red? I've always understood it to be permitted for the driver, that is, the driver can decide if they want to turn right on red. The driver has no obligation to turn right on red.

And the people honking at the person who does not want to turn red are being rude. So maybe the company is trying to help their drivers by putting such a decal, in addition to making the rule.

In both South Korea and China, right on red is permitted. According to the law, the driver must come to a full stop before making the right turn. In practice in both countries, they don't even touch the brake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
Here in China, right on red is allowed.

However, one effect is that drivers turning right barely slow down, since it doesn't matter whether their light is green or red. And on a green light they may weave around, at speed, pedestrians trying to cross the perpendicular street.

So the rule was changed this year such that you can turn right, but if it's an actual pedestrian crossing, and there is anyone crossing, you must wait (regardless of whether you think there is a gap). It's made things a lot safer.

But yeah, right on red in China.
You must not live in Beijing. There is no weaving. There is just barrelling through and if you're a pedestrian, you'd better be quick or you'll be dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Not my experience, in California during the 20th century. (Are California drivers much different now than they were 30 years ago?)

"Joke": One thing California driving and Thailand driving have in common is that pedestrian crossings are completely ignored:
  • In California the pedestrian always has the right of way. Start to cross anywhere, even without crossing marks, and traffic will come to a halt.
  • In Thailand the pedestrian never has the right of way. An oncoming car won't even slow down, with or without crossing marks; you're risking death to cross.

Actually, in California, it's not the case that the pedestrian always has the right of way. I got ticketed for causing an accident while jaywalking (funny thing was my buddy was the one driving the pickup that hit me). Luckily, it wasn't that serious an accident.
  #20  
Old 10-19-2019, 01:39 PM
Dickerman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
I find it interesting (for lack of a better word) that nobody has mentioned the possibility of pedestrians. That American drivers are so unused to those strange people is one of the things that makes being one in the US very dangerous.
A few years ago some friends from Spain travelled to Seattle for a business trip. Their ultimate destination was Portland and I offered to drive them down so we could catch up. As we drove around downtown Portland they were a bit surprised that the drivers (including me) were so courteous towards pedestrians. It was nothing out of the ordinary in my experience, but according to them drivers in Madrid were much less concerned with pedestrian safety. Don't know if it's true though.

Last edited by Dickerman; 10-19-2019 at 01:40 PM.
  #21  
Old 10-19-2019, 01:49 PM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 20,029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
Is the U.S. the only country that allows, with some exceptions, right on red?
Left turn on red (after first stopping) is allowed where I live.
  #22  
Old 10-19-2019, 01:51 PM
Dickerman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 459
And there's things like this, from https://www.euroresidentes.com/euror...-in-spain.htm:

Quote:
Zebra Crossings. Spanish drivers do not usually stop at zebra crossings unless they are
accompanied by traffic lights. Take care when approaching one in your car if there are cars behind your vehicle, because if you do what you are supposed to do - i.e. slow down and stop to allow pedestrians to cross - you are liable to be hit from behind or to have an irate driver shout and blow his horn at you. If you are a pedestrian waiting to cross, never ever start crossing until you are sure that vehicles on both lanes (if there is more than one) have stopped for you to cross.
Again, don't know if that's true, but it would be unusual in any place I've driven in the US/Canada.

Last edited by Dickerman; 10-19-2019 at 01:51 PM.
  #23  
Old 10-19-2019, 02:00 PM
Mijin's Avatar
Mijin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 9,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
You must not live in Beijing. There is no weaving. There is just barrelling through and if you're a pedestrian, you'd better be quick or you'll be dead.
Shanghai, and "weaving" was a kind way of putting it.
I mean: drivers turning right basically don't slow down at all, and only avoid pedestrians insofar as deciding in the last second they'd rather not have to clean old lady intestines off their windscreen.

Or that's how it used to be. Like I say, with the recent rule change, and bearing in mind there are cameras at all major intersections, there has been a noticeable change in driver behaviour.
(I still see dozens of near-misses every single day on Chinese roads, just not so many in the right-on-red situation)
Did the rule change in Beijing too?
  #24  
Old 10-19-2019, 02:01 PM
dtilque is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickerman View Post
A few years ago some friends from Spain travelled to Seattle for a business trip. Their ultimate destination was Portland and I offered to drive them down so we could catch up. As we drove around downtown Portland they were a bit surprised that the drivers (including me) were so courteous towards pedestrians. It was nothing out of the ordinary in my experience, but according to them drivers in Madrid were much less concerned with pedestrian safety. Don't know if it's true though.
Oregon relatively recently passed a law about how much buffer drivers turning across crosswalks have to give pedestrians. If the ped is moving towards the lane the car will be using, the driver must give them a full lane width of buffer; if moving away from the car, only half a lane width. The newspapers (and I expect other news media) made it sound more complicated than that, so perhaps that's why I see lots of Oregon drivers stop if a ped is anywhere in the crosswalk. Or that could be what Oregon law used to say, I have no idea what that was.
  #25  
Old 10-19-2019, 05:58 PM
Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5,716
I remember "left on red" being trialled in Sydney (there was one on the street my uncle and aunt lived on). That was at least twenty years ago. I see no sign of it being adopted all round the country, and the sign at the end of the street in question that said this was allowed, seems to have disappeared. So the Australian vote seems to be a solid "meh"
__________________
Science created the modern world. Politics is doing its best to destroy it.
  #26  
Old 10-19-2019, 06:17 PM
guizot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 8,785
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Actually, in California, it's not the case that the pedestrian always has the right of way. I got ticketed for causing an accident while jaywalking (funny thing was my buddy was the one driving the pickup that hit me). Luckily, it wasn't that serious an accident.
Was that in L.A.? The City of Los Angeles has an aggressive ticketing enforcement of jaywalking laws, whereas San Francisco not so much, and San Diego hardly at all. Other cities vary.

The fact is that much of California's legal code regarding vehicles and pedestrians includes subjective phrasing akin to "...when safe to do so."* Unless some local code indicates a restriction at a certain place, (with signs so indicating), you can walk across the street in the middle of the block at any point where at least one of the two immediate intersections in either direction doesn't have a traffic light . . . when safe to do so. So you can't just walk across the street in the middle of oncoming traffic, (even if it is your buddy driving), but the phrases like "so near as to constitute an immediate hazard" arguably leave a lot up to subjective determination.

On the flip side, I believe the "when safe to do so" type language applies to making right turns at intersections with pedestrians, which is where the "pedestrian always has the right of way" cliche comes from in California. That is, you can only make the right turn if there aren't any pedestrians crossing--or who look like they are about to cross.

So much of the state code regarding pedestrians can come down to the subjective evaluation of a cop. One strictly objective definition of jaywalking, however, for which the L.A. cops write a lot of tickets, is when--at an intersection with a traffic light--a pedestrian's foot alights upon the street after the "Don't Walk" sign starts to flash, and the person continues to cross. Sometimes they just station a couple of cops at a busy intersection in a place like Pico-Union, with tons of pedestrians, and write out tickets all day.


*The actual language has phrases like "so near as to constitute an immediate hazard," "no pedestrian may unnecessarily stop traffic," and "exercise all due care" etc.
  #27  
Old 10-19-2019, 06:44 PM
wolfpup's Avatar
wolfpup is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11,202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
Is the U.S. the only country that allows, with some exceptions, right on red?
Already ninja'd on this, but no. It's legal in most if not all Canadian provinces, in addition to those other countries mentioned. Municipalities can make their own exceptions. IIRC, it isn't legal in the city of Montreal proper. The technical reason for this is that Montreal drivers are insane, with a typically Gallic casual attitude to traffic laws. If they were allowed to turn right on red, they would do so without stopping or looking, and would probably fail to stop for any red lights whatsoever. I can just see them weaving slightly to the right when going straight through as a sort of symbolic gesture to the right-turn law. With all respect to a city I deeply love, the drivers there are lunatics. I believe that right turns on red are also prohibited in NYC, probably for similar reasons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
The driver has no obligation to turn right on red.
Depends on the traffic laws in the relevant jurisdiction. There is a rarely used provision of the Highway Traffic Act here called something like "Failure to proceed" which you can be charged with if, say, the light turns green and you sit there like a bump on a log. I imagine that charge can be brought if you hold up traffic by failing to proceed on a right turn against a red light if the way is clear. It's a very minor charge that carries no demerit points but it does exist.

Last edited by wolfpup; 10-19-2019 at 06:46 PM.
  #28  
Old 10-19-2019, 07:16 PM
Hilarity N. Suze is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Denver
Posts: 8,073
When I was a telephone installer we were not supposed to turn right on red in our official trucks. Many left turns were also prohibited. There had to be a left-turn lane, had to be a left-turn arrow, and had to be at an intersection, for instance, not into a driveway in the middle of the block--unless there was no other way. We could only turn left coming out of an alley if we were turning onto a one-way street (i.e., no other way).

However, we did not have stickers on our trucks saying so. Sitting at a red light with the turn signal on and not turning was considered enough of a clue and if people honked, well, people will honk.

The thing is, in areas with lots of pedestrians it can actually be better to turn right on red; you can sit there the whole light, waiting for the peds to clear out.
  #29  
Old 10-19-2019, 07:44 PM
jz78817 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Under Oveur & over Unger
Posts: 12,496
IIRC at least in Michigan, turning right on red is allowed unless signage explicitly prohibits it (i.e. there's a "NO TURN ON RED" sign.) You are, however, required to come to a complete stop first, verify crosswalks and cross traffic is clear, then make your turn.
  #30  
Old 10-19-2019, 11:07 PM
california jobcase is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: S. GA
Posts: 3,422
I remember when right turn on red (after stop) was introduced in Indiana and then Georgia. One thing I saw back then but don't now were "No Turn On Red" signs at certain intersections with green arrow left turn lights. It seemed to make sense as a non-local driver may not realize the green arrow was there for oncoming traffic and might get hit by a left turner he wasn't expecting.
  #31  
Old 10-20-2019, 02:38 AM
echoreply's Avatar
echoreply is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
Already ninja'd on this, but no. It's legal in most if not all Canadian provinces, in addition to those other countries mentioned. Municipalities can make their own exceptions. IIRC, it isn't legal in the city of Montreal proper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
The thing is, in areas with lots of pedestrians it can actually be better to turn right on red; you can sit there the whole light, waiting for the peds to clear out.
These two posts in a row remind me of my time in downtown Montreal. Not turning right on red backed up traffic considerably. During the entire green light pedestrians were crossing the streets, so no chance to go during green either. Each light cycle let would let one or two cars turn right, depending on if the front car was quick enough to beat the pedestrians, and how willing the next few cars were to run the red. I noticed that cross traffic had more gaps than the pedestrians, so, assuming the drivers could handle it sanely, right on red would have greatly improved traffic flow. The other thing that would have fixed it would have been a period with a green light, but no walk signal, assuming the pedestrians would behave.
  #32  
Old 10-20-2019, 06:54 AM
mandala's Avatar
mandala is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Diamond City, Zeta Prime
Posts: 600
At least countries have rules around this issue - whether drivers follow them is a different matter. In most parts of India traffic lights are strictly for decoration purposes. If traffic is extremely heavy drivers may, at their discretion, obey them, just to avoid getting hit by another vehicle. Nobody cares for pedestrians, but because of the sheer number of people legging it - some close to the middle of the thoroughfare for want of sidewalks - drivers often give them the courtesy of a honk. If you ignore the well-intentioned honk, you are on your own. Crossing the street is fraught with peril; your success largely depends on your reflexes, experience, and luck.

BTW, interestingly for Western folks, honking in India is not considered rude, it is an essential element of street communication. I have lost count of how many times I escaped injury by means of a well-timed honk from a speeding vehicle.
__________________
I think, therefore I am... I think
  #33  
Old 10-20-2019, 10:42 AM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 42,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickerman View Post
A few years ago some friends from Spain travelled to Seattle for a business trip. Their ultimate destination was Portland and I offered to drive them down so we could catch up. As we drove around downtown Portland they were a bit surprised that the drivers (including me) were so courteous towards pedestrians. It was nothing out of the ordinary in my experience, but according to them drivers in Madrid were much less concerned with pedestrian safety. Don't know if it's true though.
I haven't been to the NW, but I sometimes joke that we create "Madrid drivers" by taking the worst drivers from the rest of Spain and dumping them there. So far, nobody from Madrid has been able to say I wasn't right.
__________________
Some people knew how to kill a conversation. Cura, on the other hand, could make it wish it had never been born.
  #34  
Old 10-20-2019, 01:44 PM
dtilque is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
I haven't been to the NW,
The main problem with NW drivers is that they're too courteous. They keep waving bicyclists through 4-way stop intersections when they should be taking their right-of-way. And then they turn around and complain about how cyclists are always blowing through stop signs and red lights. People don't realize how the first behavior leads to the second.

At any rate, in Oregon, we now have the Idaho stop law. That is, bicyclists can treat stop signs as if they were yield signs. Of course this is just legalizing what pretty much all cyclists were already doing, so it really means that cops have one less way of harrassing bicyclists.

Quote:
but I sometimes joke that we create "Madrid drivers" by taking the worst drivers from the rest of Spain and dumping them there. So far, nobody from Madrid has been able to say I wasn't right.
Sounds similar to a Dave Barry joke about Miami drivers: Miami drivers all follow the law when driving, but it's the law of wherever they came from.
  #35  
Old 10-20-2019, 04:26 PM
mhendo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 25,463
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
In California the pedestrian always has the right of way. Start to cross anywhere, even without crossing marks, and traffic will come to a halt.
LOL.

I lived in San Diego for over ten years, and this is hilariously incorrect.
  #36  
Old 10-20-2019, 04:32 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 62,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
LOL.

I lived in San Diego for over ten years, and this is hilariously incorrect.
Same "rule" here in Portland, but I have never seen it enforced.
  #37  
Old 10-21-2019, 08:48 PM
Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 11,376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
And the people honking at the person who does not want to turn red are being rude. So maybe the company is trying to help their drivers by putting such a decal, in addition to making the rule.
If they have a sign and it's policy, then it's forgivable. However, barring that circumstance, it's not rude to honk at assholes that won't turn on red. I don't mean situations where I have to respect their judgment; I mean situations where there's literally no other traffic. Sure, they're not obligated by law to turn, but there are scores of other situations where social requirements outweigh legal requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
Here in China, right on red is allowed.

However, one effect is that drivers turning right barely slow down, since it doesn't matter whether their light is green or red. And on a green light they may weave around, at speed, pedestrians trying to cross the perpendicular street.
Usually, though, laws require you to stop on red before proceeding. Despite having a Chinese license, I paid a translator to take my test for me, so I'm not aware of the actual law. I would assume that you have to stop before proceeding, but I also assume that "right of way" is a thing, when it clearly is not.
  #38  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:11 AM
Mijin's Avatar
Mijin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 9,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Usually, though, laws require you to stop on red before proceeding. Despite having a Chinese license, I paid a translator to take my test for me, so I'm not aware of the actual law. I would assume that you have to stop before proceeding, but I also assume that "right of way" is a thing, when it clearly is not.
No right turn on red can't be the rule here in Shanghai -- drivers turning right almost always go through directly.
There are one or two roads where drivers will always queue though. I have not driven in China, so I have never taken notice of what markings are indicating to the drivers that they cannot turn right on red on those junctions. But it's a small minority of junctions.
  #39  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:47 AM
wolfman is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 10,989
Thanks to the absurd Michigan left turn, if a visitor comes to any of the populated areas here, they better be prepared to take an expiditious one-way to one-way left on red as well, or endure a severe honking.
  #40  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:58 AM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 13,234
UPS no longer permits their drivers to make left hand turns...period. Their routes are laid out so that they only can make right hand turns.

They have reduced the number of accidents their drivers are involved with significantly with this simple change in their routing policy.
  #41  
Old 10-22-2019, 02:09 PM
dtilque is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,257
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
Thanks to the absurd Michigan left turn, if a visitor comes to any of the populated areas here, they better be prepared to take an expiditious one-way to one-way left on red as well, or endure a severe honking.
In Oregon, you can make a left turn on red as long as the street you're turning on to is one-way. It doesn't matter whether you're on a one-way street or not. (cite) I doubt if you'll get a honking if you don't take them though. A lot of people are unaware of this rule and NW drivers are, in general, too polite to honk in that situation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
UPS no longer permits their drivers to make left hand turns...period. Their routes are laid out so that they only can make right hand turns.

They have reduced the number of accidents their drivers are involved with significantly with this simple change in their routing policy.
I strongly suspect that that rule is because post office delivery vehicles have the driver on the right side to facilitate delivery to streetside mailboxes. I also suspect that there will be exceptions where it's impossible for some routes to be laid out with having either a left turn or a ridiculously long detour away from the route.
  #42  
Old 10-22-2019, 02:37 PM
doreen is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Woodhaven,Queens, NY
Posts: 6,650
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post

I strongly suspect that that rule is because post office delivery vehicles have the driver on the right side to facilitate delivery to streetside mailboxes. I also suspect that there will be exceptions where it's impossible for some routes to be laid out with having either a left turn or a ridiculously long detour away from the route.
UPS not USPS - I mean, the Post Office might do it, too, but UPS vehicles have the driver on the left side. They do it because it saves time and gas and results in fewer accidents- but it's not a complete ban

https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/world...rns/index.html
  #43  
Old 10-22-2019, 02:57 PM
TheCuse is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
UPS no longer permits their drivers to make left hand turns...period. Their routes are laid out so that they only can make right hand turns.

They have reduced the number of accidents their drivers are involved with significantly with this simple change in their routing policy.
They still allow lefts when it's feasible and necessary, especially in residential areas and intersections where right-hand turns are not feasible.

The UPS driver that comes to my place of business twice a day makes left-hand turns to get here, and when he goes further down the street to drop off packages, he makes another left.

EDIT TO ADD: I talked to a few of our UPS drivers a few months back and they said that the No Left Turn rule is not written in stone for residential deliveries or some intersections where it's difficult to do.

Last edited by TheCuse; 10-22-2019 at 03:01 PM.
  #44  
Old 10-22-2019, 08:01 PM
garygnu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 11,521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
...
Actually, in California, it's not the case that the pedestrian always has the right of way. I got ticketed for causing an accident while jaywalking (funny thing was my buddy was the one driving the pickup that hit me). Luckily, it wasn't that serious an accident.
In CA, cars must always yield right of way to pedestrians even if the pedestrian is pedestrianing illegally. Your buddy technically should have also gotten a ticket, but reaction time is taken into account.

Thr point is you can't just knowingly plow into a jaywalkers blameless. But traffic coming to a halt? In my experience, "yielding" consists of honking and swerving, not often stopping.
__________________
o
  #45  
Old 10-23-2019, 02:33 PM
Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 11,376
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
In Oregon, you can make a left turn on red as long as the street you're turning on to is one-way. It doesn't matter whether you're on a one-way street or not.
Actually, that's the case in Michigan, too, despite that poster's wording.
  #46  
Old 10-24-2019, 09:56 AM
wolfman is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 10,989
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Actually, that's the case in Michigan, too, despite that poster's wording.
Yeah, but turning left from a two-way is very rarely done at all, and I have never seen anyone honked at for not doing it.

But it seems a lot of Michigan left turns are timed assuming people will be turning left on red , and if they don't, it screws everybody behind them up a cycle or two.
  #47  
Old 10-24-2019, 01:41 PM
carrps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 921
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
UPS no longer permits their drivers to make left hand turns...period. Their routes are laid out so that they only can make right hand turns.

They have reduced the number of accidents their drivers are involved with significantly with this simple change in their routing policy.
This is timely! I'm expecting a UPS delivery today and following it online. I was a bit confused by the route he was taking around my neighborhood, but the "no left turns" thing probably explains it. Thanks!
  #48  
Old 10-24-2019, 02:11 PM
Kovitlac is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 49
In Iowa we can always turn right on red unless there's a sign saying otherwise, and we come to a complete stop regardless. We can also to the same for going left, IF going from one one-way to another.

My city doesn't have tons of one-ways, so I don't do it very often at all.
  #49  
Old 10-24-2019, 09:01 PM
Melbourne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
I remember "left on red" being trialled in Sydney (there was one on the street my uncle and aunt lived on). That was at least twenty years ago. I see no sign of it being adopted all round the country, and the sign at the end of the street in question that said this was allowed, seems to have disappeared. So the Australian vote seems to be a solid "meh"
VicRoads (vic.aus) did an analysis, and decided that in this state, even though drivers wanted it, the additional deaths/casualties would not be politically sustainable.
  #50  
Old 10-25-2019, 07:53 AM
Mrs McGinty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandala View Post
BTW, interestingly for Western folks, honking in India is not considered rude, it is an essential element of street communication. I have lost count of how many times I escaped injury by means of a well-timed honk from a speeding vehicle.
A friend of mine in Bangalore calls it 'road sonar', and argues that it's downright irresponsible not to honk all the time. Since there's no concept of lane discipline, and road traffic laws are scarcely acknowledged even by the most careful drivers, constant honking is the only way anyone knows what anyone else is doing.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017