Right-turn-on-red question

Note: the setting for this question is Washington State, where right turns on red are legal.

At a highway off-ramp near where I live, there are three lanes. From left to right, the lanes are marked as follows:

  1. Left-turn only
  2. Straight OR right-turn
  3. Right-turn only.

My question is as follows: while I know that it is legal to make a right turn on red from lane #3, would it be legal as well to make a right turn on red from lane #2? I’ve looked all over http://access.wa.gov (the state’s website) but couldn’t find any law that either explicitly forbade or allowed it.

Well in Vancouver (sorry! BC!) there is a similar intersection heading east on 70th at Oak St.

There is a ‘no right turn on red’ sign for BOTH lanes, which in one sense might imply that unless stated, such turns are legal from either lane.

However, the thought of it being legal at all are kind of ludicrous.

And it’s not the same country.

And there’s a sign. :rolleyes:

Per this statute, is it legal.

3) Steady red indication

a) Vehicle operators facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection control area and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown. However, the vehicle operators facing a steady circular red signal may, after stopping proceed to make a right turn from a one-way or two-way street into a two-way street or into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the right turn; or a left turn from a one-way or two-way street into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn; unless a sign posted by competent authority prohibits such movement. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall remain stopped to allow other vehicles lawfully within or approaching the intersection control area to complete their movements. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall also remain stopped for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1).


A different slant of the right turn on red:

You are drving down the street approaching an intersection which has signs posted specifically stating that right turns on red are not allowed. You’re have the green light and are just about to cross the intersection when a total dickweed decides to ignore the sign and turn on red right in front of you. You are unable to stop in time and rear end him back into the stone age. Who’s at fault?

Well, if I am understanding you correctly, you have not broken any laws, while the turner clearly has, causing you to run into him. As long as you are doing the speed limit (which speeding may cause it to be contributory negligence), I would think the other driver would be completely at fault.

Of course, this is my opinion, so I may be MILES off!

He is. Even if the right turn was allowed, it’s his obligation to do so only if safety can be assured. He didn’t make sure the cross road was clear so it’s his fault.

Of course, if he ignores posted warnings, thus committing a traffic violation leading to an accident, your lawyer will have a field day when you sue his negligent ass.

But if you live in a venue with no-fault insurance, all bets are off.

I did read that statute, but … if this statute were the only relevant law, then it would be legal to make a right-hand turn in any lane, even the leftmost lane. There’s also this statute:

However, it doesn’t seem to address right-turn-on-red.

Just talked to a police officer. He states the same statute as you. When I informed him of the statute I referenced, he admitted that someone could use that statute as a challenge to a citation. But he feels the statute you reference would take presidence.

I drove a vanpool for many years and the route to work included an intersection of 2 major highways in South Everett. That intersection has 2 right turn lanes and I always used the far right lane so I could turn on red. I did on occasion see folks turn right on red from the center lane though.

In Connecticut, in the one place I know where there are two right turn lanes, it is explicitly signed as “Right Turn on Red from Right Lane Only”. Which probably means it’s legal otherwise. But that ain’t Washington, is it?