Right turn on red from second lane. Legal?

In California, is it legal to turn right on red from the second lane from the curb?

Here’s a column on the matter.

Personal history: A cop told me no 5 years ago. I was spared a ticket only because it was Christmas.

(No, it was not because of the spirit, the Christmas traffic next to the Metreon in San Francisco was a nightmare then and the cop realized that turning right from the second lane was a sensible thing to do into a one way road because the first line on the right was clogged, both on the main road and on the road one was turning into. Also, I was not going to turn right on the next block. And the cop realized that to give me the ticket it would mean to stop the traffic even more)

Thanks. To clarify, I meant “from a second designated right-turn lane”.

According to your link, it is legal.

GIGObuster, I’m assuming the lane you turned from was not a right-turn lane?

Of course it is legal to turn right from any designated right turn lane. And if you turn from the second lane you must turn into the second lane. You can’t change lanes in the turn. I believe that’s true for any right hand turn. Even if there are two lanes on the side of the street you make a right turn into, if you turn from the lane next to the curb you must turn into the lane next to the curb. You can’t change lanes during the turn.

This isn’t the case with left hand turns. If you turn left from the left-most lane or a left turn lane you can turn into a different lane if it is safe to do so. I.e. if there is no traffic nearby in that lane or turning into it.

Well, I checked (which I should have done first but it’s late) and I was wrong. You can make a right hand turn from any lane marked as a right turn lane or if not marked from the lane closest to the edge of the road into any lane that is lawfully available. I.e. safe to turn into.

I do it practically every day, from a freeway exit ramp with two right turn lanes.

California Driver’s Handbook

My personal feelings is don’t do it unless posted.
FTIW in Pleasanton there are a number of intersections where the furtherest right lane is a dedicated RT lane. The lane next to it has painted arrows that indicate that you may either drive straight ahead, or turn. There is also a large sign that says Right turn on red is only allowed from the curb lane.

This is a classic case of the exception that proves the rule: exceptio probat regulam de rebus non exceptis. The existence of the sign disallowing a right on red from the second lane demonstrates that it would be OK if the sign weren’t there.

Generally in California if a right turn is OK on a green, then it’s OK on a red after a stop as long as it’s not specifically prohibited and the driver yields the right of way. It’s also OK to turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street.

The parts of the California vehicle code covering turns are here and here.

I was going to correct you on this (since you can make a similar left turn), but you beat me to it.

Curse you, Dudley Doright!

(Insert smug smiley here.) Or would it be a smuggie?

in Washington its legal to make a right turn on a red light ** Unless Otherwise Posted **
yes this means the second of 2 right turn lanes, yes its means you can do it even if the light is a friggin red arrow…the only time you cant is with a sign that says “no turn on red”

What does the red arrow prohibit if not a turn?

In California, a red right-arrow means absolutely no right turn while the red right-arrow is displayed. You can’t just stop and then turn when it looks safe. Can someone tell us if Oregon is any different? I’d be surprised if so.

(I also mentioned this same law in that other more current thread about turns.)

I wish these things were more standardized. In Illinois, it is allowed (PDF ahead). See page 71.

There’s plenty of intersections in the Chicagoland area where there’s two right turn lanes on a red. Some have a sign that say “right turn on red only from right lane” (or something to that effect.) I always thought that it was only the rightmost lane that is allowed to turn on red, but either a) few people pay attention to that or b) I am wrong about that, given the existence of signs that expressly forbid it (implying that it is allowed in other situations.) I’m assuming “b”.

As a general rule, I don’t think you can EVER assume that the presence of a sign forbidding action X in a certain situation, implies that in the absence of such a sign in the same situation, it’s okay to do X. I would never trust the law to work that way, unless in some particular cases it just so happens that way.

Example: There’s an intersection near here with a red right-turn arrow, AND an explicit sign saying “No right turn on red arrow.”

But that sign is totally redundant. That’s the law for red right-turn arrows here, sign or no sign.