Left turn on a red arrow

I recently had the following traffic situation come up and was wondering whether it was legal to make a left turn. If it matters I was driving in Maryland.
I was on a moderately busy city street that had a left turn lane which included an arrow stoplight, as well as a standard stop light for the through lanes. As I came to the intersection the left turn arrow turned from green to red. The light for through traffic on my side of the street remained green. There was no oncoming traffic, and I had clear visibility for at least 100 yards.

Here are my thoughts

  1. Of course you can’t turn. There is a friggin red arrow telling you not to.

  2. The purpose of the arrow is to show when the oncoming traffic has been stopped. The Red arrow merely indicates that the oncoming traffic has not been stopped, but since my side of the road has a green light and there is no oncoming traffic I can turn left just as I would if I was at an intersection with only a standard stop light.

  3. Hi Opal.

Anyone know the law on this?

At least in Illinois, you can’t turn left when you’re facing a red arrow. But you can turn right.

“Red arrow – The red arrow means do not make the movement shown by the arrow until a green arrow appears. You may make a right turn at a red arrow. You also may make a left turn at a red arrow when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street that has traffic moving to the left. In both instances, drivers must come to a complete stop and yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before proceeding.”

Arrow or ball, it’s a steady red signal. You don’t go through a steady red signal; if it’s flashing on and off, you treat it as a stop sign (come to a full stop, then proceed when the lanes are clear.)

not in all cases.

Name a case where you can. I can’t think of any, except maybe for a right turn on red.

um, I just did.

In illinois, you can turn right on a red arrow once you’ve made a full stop.

You can’t make a left turn on a red arrow in Maryland.

But this is a case where you would be in a left turn lane.

that’s not what I was responding to.

but, if you want another example, it’s also in my first post.

Apart from turn right on red, what cases? If you’re stopped at a red light, you have a clear view in both direction of the cross street, and you can see that there’s no traffic in the cross street, you are not permitted to proceed straight ahead, even though it would be safe to do so. The same logic applies to a left-pointing red light: it’s illegal to turn left, even though it would be safe.

not in all cases.

I guess if you’re talking about a situation where there is only one lane, then you could turn right on a red left turn arrow, or on a red light period, but that doesn’t really answer the OP’s question.

I had to read Rumor’s post more clearly to get it. If you’re on a ONE WAY street, meeting a ONE WAY street where traffic is moving from your right to your left. You’d be in the far left lane, and the same rule as ‘right turn on red’ would apply.

Happens all the time in downtown areas (like Chicago) where there are a lot of one way streets. Except that there aren’t many left turn arrows there, but if there were, I think in those cases it would be fine, after making a complete stop and making sure you were clear to do so.

If you have to cross any traffic at all from a dedicated left turn lane that has a red arrow, then no. The arrow being red specifically directs you NOT to turn.

dude. stop digging. you failed in your gotcha. hell, your edit even makes that abundantly clear that you were trying for the gotcha instead of trying to answer the OP.

the OP’s question has been answered, anyways. I missed the Maryland bit - someone else went and dug up their (identical) rule.

Give an example.

(Apart from you driving an emergency vehicle with siren going & lights flashing, or there being a police officer standing in the middle of the intersection waving you through, or other situations where the normal rules don’t apply.)

But those are cases where you wouldn’t need a protected left turn in first place, so why would there be an arrow at all?

it’s done at intersections where there is likely to be unexpected pedestrian traffic, or in the case of a red right arrow, where there could be an advanced green left (from the opposite side) of multiple lanes.

it’s basically done to make sure you stop and look around, as opposed to the oft-careless right turns on solid red.

I wasnt taking issue with the example you used as analogy (not going straight through a red light) - I was taking issue with the inference drawn from that analogy.

Right. That.

Ok. Makes sense.