1. #1
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    Common turn lanes.

    Say you have a 4 lane road with a common lane in the middle used for left turns. I have noticed in my area that some people turning left out of a business/parking lot will pull into the common use lane, wait for traffic to clear and merge into traffic (or not even stop and drive in the common turn lane until a slot opens up to merge). In my view this poses hazards but I cannot find in city codes (in my area) where it says it's illegal. Do any of you reading have any laws regarding such? Just curious.

  2. #2
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    21460.5. (a) The Department of Transportation and local authorities
    in their respective jurisdictions may designate a two-way left-turn
    lane on a highway. A two-way left-turn lane is a lane near the
    center of the highway set aside for use by vehicles making left turns
    in both directions from or into the highway.
    (b) Two-way left-turn lanes shall be designated by distinctive
    roadway markings consisting of parallel double yellow lines, interior
    line dashed and exterior line solid, on each side of the lane. The
    Department of Transportation may determine and prescribe standards
    and specifications governing length, width, and positioning of the
    distinctive pavement markings. All pavement markings designating a
    two-way left-turn lane shall conform to the Department of
    Transportation's standards and specifications.
    (c) A vehicle shall not be driven in a designated two-way
    left-turn lane except when preparing for or making a left turn from
    or into a highway or when preparing for or making a U-turn when
    otherwise permitted by law, and shall not be driven in that lane for
    more than 200 feet while preparing for and making the turn or while
    preparing to merge into the adjacent lanes of travel. A left turn or
    U-turn shall not be made from any other lane where a two-way
    left-turn lane has been designated.
    (d) This section does not prohibit driving across a two-way
    left-turn lane.
    (e) Raised pavement markers may be used to simulate the painted
    lines described in this section when those markers are placed in
    accordance with standards established by the Department of
    Transportation.


    They may turn into that lane but may not continue down the road in it.
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  3. #3
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    Center Left Turn Lanes

    A center left turn lane is in the middle of a two-way street and is marked on both sides by two painted lines. The inner line is broken and the outer line is solid. If a street has a center left turn lane, you must use it when you
    turn left (CVC §21460.5[c]) or start a permitted U-turn.



    You may only drive for 200 feet in the center left turn lane. This lane is not a regular traffic lane or a passing lane. To turn left from this lane, signal and drive completely inside the center left turn lane. Do not stop with the back of your vehicle blocking traffic. Make sure the lane is clear in both directions and then turn only when it is safe. Look for vehicles coming toward you in the same lane to start their left turn. When turning left from a side street or driveway, signal and wait until it is safe. Then you may drive into the center left turn lane. Enter traffic only when it is safe.

    You may drive across a center left turn lane.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

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    I cannot find in city codes (in my area) where it says it's illegal.
    Am I missing something? What area are you in? I can tell you it's technically illegal in Michigan, but it's still accepted practice here.

  5. #5
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    It's all about being reasonable. If it takes a bit of driving in the turn lane to merge safely, so be it.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabre View Post
    Am I missing something? What area are you in? I can tell you it's technically illegal in Michigan, but it's still accepted practice here.
    This is from the Michigan code:

    MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT)
    Act 300 of 1949


    257.642 Roadway divided into 2 or more marked lanes; applicable rules; designation as HOV lane; restrictions; exceptions; violation as civil infraction.
    Sec. 642.

    (1) When a roadway has been divided into 2 or more clearly marked lanes for traffic the following rules in addition to all others consistent with this act shall apply:

    (a) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety. Upon a roadway with 4 or more lanes which provides for 2-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall be driven within the extreme right-hand lane except when overtaking and passing, but shall not cross the center line of the roadway except where making a left turn.

    (b) Upon a roadway which is divided into 3 lanes and provides for 2-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction, when the center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for a left turn, or where the center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same direction the vehicle is proceeding and the allocation is designated by official traffic control devices.

    (c) Official traffic control devices may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of the traffic-control device.

    (d) Official traffic-control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of the traffic-control devices.

    (2) When any lane has been designated as an HOV lane under section 1 of 1951 PA 51, MCL 247.651, and has been appropriately marked with signs and pavement markings, the lane shall be reserved during the periods indicated for the exclusive use of buses and HOVs. The restrictions imposed on HOV lanes do not apply to any of the following:

    (a) Authorized emergency vehicles.

    (b) Law enforcement vehicles.

    (c) Motorcycles.

    (d) Transit and commuter buses designed to transport persons, including the driver.

    (e) Vehicles of public utility companies that are responding to an emergency call.

    (f) Vehicles that are using an HOV lane to make a turn permitted by law for a reasonable distance in advance of the turn or for purposes of entering or exiting a limited access highway.

    (g) Taxicabs having 2 or more occupants, including the driver.

    (h) Bicycles, if the HOV lane is the right-hand lane of a highway open to bicycles.

    (3) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

    History: 1949, Act 300, Eff. Sept. 23, 1949 ;-- Am. 1974, Act 289, Imd. Eff. Oct. 15, 1974 ;-- Am. 1978, Act 510, Eff. Aug. 1, 1979 ;-- Am. 2008, Act 304, Imd. Eff. Dec. 9, 2008


    © 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(4xr...642&highlight=

    And, from "MI Drive - Traffic Law"

    Question: How far can you drive in a center turn lane?

    Answer: That depends. When preparing for a left turn a driver can travel a "reasonable" distance in the center turn lane.

    It is unlawful to use the center left turn lane for a right turn or as a merge lane when entering the roadway.

    http://www.michigan.gov/drive/0,1607...3839--,00.html
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtCHP View Post
    Not sure what you're trying to say. the first code regarding lane usage indicates that you can use the turn lane for stuff other than turning. I'm familiar with that section. The second says that it is unlawful to do so.

    As far as I know, it is not legal to use that lane to merge. I've been advised of that by the Magistrate in the county I used to work in as well. Michigan law allows the establishment of "traffic control devices" that shall be obeyed by motorists. It defines those devices as, in part, signs. Just about anywhere there is a turn lane there is a sign indicating that it is for turning only.
    Last edited by Sabre; 03-02-2009 at 04:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabre View Post
    Not sure what you're trying to say. the first code regarding lane usage indicates that you can use the turn lane for stuff other than turning. I'm familiar with that section. The second says that it is unlawful to do so.

    Just about anywhere there is a turn lane there is a sign indicating that it is for turning only.
    That is mainly my point of contention. Here (in oklahoma) they are clearly marked "left turn only", but yet people use them to merge into traffic. I often see people drive in these things to merge and drive straight at people trying to turn left from the other direction. Seems very unsafe.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarlonBrando View Post
    That is mainly my point of contention. Here (in oklahoma) they are clearly marked "left turn only", but yet people use them to merge into traffic. I often see people drive in these things to merge and drive straight at people trying to turn left from the other direction. Seems very unsafe.
    Oklahoma law dealing with two-way, left turn lanes..................

    . A two-way left-turn lane is a lane near the center of the highway set aside for use by vehicles making left turns in both directions from or into the roadway. Two-way left-turn lanes shall be designated by distinctive roadway markings consisting of parallel double yellow lines, interior line dashed and exterior line solid, on each side of the lane. A vehicle shall not be driven in a designated two-way left-turn lane except when preparing for or making a left turn from or into a roadway. Vehicles turning left from the roadway shall not be driven in the two-way left-turn lane for more than two hundred (200) feet while preparing for and making the turn. A vehicle turning left onto the roadway may utilize the two-way left-turn lane as a staging area by stopping and waiting for traffic proceeding in the same direction to clear before merging into the adjacent lanes of travel. A left turn shall not be made from any other lane where a two-way left-turn lane has been designated. Provided, however, this section shall not prohibit driving across a two-way left-turn lane when moving from a service drive onto such marked roadway.
    http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/20...sb1929_int.rtf

    If the above link does not work, I found the information by typing the following in google:

    turning left from two way left turn lanes>oklahoma
    Last edited by SgtCHP; 03-02-2009 at 07:47 PM.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  10. #10
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    Thank you Sgt. I was looking everywhere for that. As I read it you can drive up to 200 ft in the lane when preparing to turn left but must STOP when using it as a go-between to merge. The light is shed!

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