Turn Right on Red

I live just outside of Philadelphia in the suburbs. The city has a different set of laws governing driver behavior at red lights but where I live you can turn right at a red light unless it is marked “No Turn on Red.”

Either I am the unluckiest driver in the world or people around here just don’t get it. I have sat behind more people who refuse to turn at the light than I can count. Beep at them, yell at them, it doesn’t matter…very often they refuse to move. Now I completely understand you must come to a complete stop, look for traffic, and then continue on safely. We’re not talking about someone fastidiously obeying traffic laws. These people stop and then disengage their senses to the point that they will be completely oblivious. I’ve lost hours of my life waiting in that situation.

Anyone else frustrated by this?

I use the push bars on my non-existent truck and make them turn :slight_smile:

As a NYC driver (no right turn on red), I will admit I sometimes forget when I ‘cross the border’. A short honk to remind me and I’ll go. A long, braying, obnoxious honk…see below.

However, I have also been honked at when there are signs saying No Turn on Red. Someone once approached my mother’s car (fortunate for both of us I wasn’t there) after honking at such an intersection. Also, pedestrians have right of way over turning cars, yet I’ve been honked at while watching people crossing right in front of me. One of my (many) less-than-good traits is that I get rather passive-aggressive when someone honks at me unnecessarily (such as honking at me when it would mean I have to run over a pedestrian). You do that, rest assured you will wait until a full green, especially if you are hemmed in.

One good thing about this area is the signs are very clear. If you can’t turn on red the big black on white reflective sign will be obvious. There are only a handful of areas around here where they can be found, the vast majority are unmarked and you can turn there.

I’ve actually gone around people who refuse to move even after a tap of the horn. Of course it only starts there. Quick tap…driver ignores it…longer beep…driver sometimes ignores that too. Then a long blast followed by a “move it along” gesture easily seen in the rear view mirror. I had one time where even that move failed. I put the truck in park, got out, and knocked on the lady’s window. She was busy stuffing her face with a pretzel and looked up at me with the most startled expression I’ve ever seen on a person. I pointed out that you are suppossed to turn on red when there is no sign and all she could muster was to mumble something through her obscenely full mouth and shrug her shoulders. I was so tempted to put a fist through her window but managed to get myself under control and go back to my truck.

Just cause you can turn right on red, doesn’t mean you have to.

Sometimes, I don’t. Usually it’s because of the traffic pattern, but sometimes it’s just cause it doesn’t matter and I’m going to get stuck at the next light anyway. Even if the guy behind me is beeping.

OK, especially if he’s beeping.

I think you may have crossed the line with that one. I’m not saying that the lady wasn’t a putz. I’m just saying that knocking on someone’s window like that is a good way to increase your chances of getting shot. Plus, it’s more than a little rude, regardless of what a shitty driver the other person is.

I see this far less than I see people who refuse to turn left on green from a turning lane. I don’t if it’s like this everywhere, but here you can sort of nose out into the intersection while waiting for the people going straight and then make your left turn when they all cross, when the light turns yellow, or -gasp- when it’s red. No: they sit like rocks while the light turns from green to yellow to red, firmly on the line, left turner blinking, consigning all of us to wait through another entire light cycle, when we could have zipped across (safely watching for other cars, of course) and been on our way!

Where I’ve seen it spelled out, right turn on red is permitted, but not mandatory.

And yes, even with those big bold-lettered signs, I’ve been honked at. The one where my mother was accosted has 3 signs: one on the sidewalk and two overhanging the intersection.

Given your description, I’d say your barely-controlled road rage is worse than my horn-induced passive aggressiveness. Hopefully, we never meet while in our vehicles.

I agree I over-reacted. I wanted to be rude. A guy can only take so many oblivious drivers before he reacts, you know?

I’m actually a pretty nice guy…until I get frustrated when driving. Ignorance and stupidity was never something I was good at tolerating.

Yep, I see that at times as well though not nearly as often. I hesitate to try and caculate how much of my life has been wasted waiting behind people who don’t know any better.

Last night I saw this jerk stopped at a red light that had a bit of extra lane where cars can turn right on red. He was blocking this area, sitting back about two or three car lengths, just so he could peel out like an ashhole when the light changed! I laughed my butt off when he got caught by people turning into the gas station just on the other side of the street.

This is me. I will turn left on green when the way is clear, but I absolutely refuse to sit in the middle of the intersection. I will wait politely behind the line until I can turn. I’m not a grandma about it, but I just hate hanging out in the middle.

Sometimes I will be at an intersection where it is legal to turn right on red and I’m in the right-turn lane. But I won’t turn.

Why? Because the #@%^*! in the lane to my left figured he or she would save a few valuable seconds by pulling up as far as they can into the intersection, completely blocking my view. There could be all kinds of cars coming from my left, or not- I can’t see. If I can’t see, I’m not going to turn. The person behind me may or may not understand this- they can see if cars are coming, and I guess I’m supposed to use my telepathic powers to find out from them if it’s safe to go or not. :rolleyes:

I’d rather be honked at than T-boned or rear-ended by a car I didn’t see coming from the left.

Actually in NJ, we’re good at Turning on read, when the person in front of you isn’t moving you quickly realize they are either from NYC or Philly where Turn Right on Red is not legal. Most New Yorkers will go after a short beep, I’ve noticed the Pennsy Plates less likely. I assume this is a Philly thing. Sounds like you are confirming it Bongmaster.


I had a policeman fall asleep on the horn on a right on red to persuade me to turn. I dont see what the big hurry is, i mean, the world isn’t going anywhere.

caring about driving etiquette is exhausting. so many ages and types of people.

i really miss driving around west virginia. there was never anyone around and if there was you could almost always just pass them.

this city is madness.

I coulda sworn they used capital letters in West Virginia… :smiley:

I think they made a movie about you. :wink:

We used to swear a lot too. :slight_smile:

emphasis mine

Sorry, but I know of no state where a right on red is mandatory. It’s optional. And if I want to sit and wait for the green, then I am well within my rights to do so.

It seems strange that someone who is a Master of the Bong would be overly aggressive and not mellow. Maybe he was on his way to the Taco Bell or to the 7/11 for Cheetos.