Saturday’s Question

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce an ingenious friend I have come to affectionately refer to as BlogStalker (not his real name, but he requested I christen him with one). I consulted the Board and discovered no conflicts. The matter was moved upon and passed by majority. **None of that will make sense but to about a small group of folks, by the way, so don’t feel totally lost.**

At any rate, his question:

Ok, I have to play along. This one has bugged me for a long time.

Who has the right-of-way when there are no left turn arrows and the light is green, The vehicle making a left or the vehicle making a right from the opposite direction turning into the same lane?? Hope this makes sense…BlogStalker.

Well spoken, if not drawn, my friend. I took it upon myself to include a small diagram to assist with the visual because, quite frankly, yours was shit. 🙂 I think this is what BlogStalker is referring to…

I apologize for the lousy picture. Blogger wouldn’t allow me to upload a .pdf file or directly from my drawing program. If you click on the picture, it should make it bigger so it’s easier to read.

The blue car is attempting a left turn. The red car is attempting a right turn. Both vehicles want to enter the same lane. Who has the right-of-way? First, it isn’t often that both vehicles enter the intersection simultaneously. Typically, one or the other will be there first and a seamless turn by both can be achieved. However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume there was a collision and the PCF (Primary Collision Factor) has to be determined and all other CVC sections have been excluded (speed, etc) and I have to determine fault with some regard to a right-of-way violation.

The official answer can be found in CVC 21801. There are two subsections. CVC 21801(a) states in part, “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn can be made with reasonable safety.”

CVC 21801(b) states in part, “A driver having yielded as prescribed in (a) and having given a signal may turn left, and the drivers of vehicles approaching the intersection from the opposite direction shall yield the right-of-way to the turning vehicle.”

Clear enough for you? Me neither. In plain English, it means the blue car (left turn) has to yield to the red car (right turn); however, if the blue car had already yielded and it was reasonably safe to proceed, the red car must yield. This is assuming the red car was much further back. We can’t expect the blue car to sit there all damn day, right?

The bottom line in this dilemma (again, assuming a collision occurred) is I’m going to be looking for some unbiased (read independent) witness that can give me a good idea of where each car was prior to the collision.

To more directly answer your question, Stalker, if you get there at the same time and you’re making the left, you need to yield to the vehicle making the right turn. Now run off and tell all your friends MC hooked you up with an answer. Oh, and I believe you’re buying. It’s in the by-laws.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

10 thoughts on “Saturday’s Question

  1. Is he buying for everyone? I concur, Left turn has to yield R.O.W to right turn. However, here in Texas there is a clause that drivers wrote into the law. My Truck is BIGGER then that p.o.s. foreign car of yours….

  2. Jeebus! Those vehicle codes are hard to understand!

    I thought it would be red simply because the red car is the closest to that lane and doesn't have to cross the path of any oncoming cars to get into that lane. LOL. Then again, Blonde Logic is probably more difficult to understand than vehicle codes:)

  3. Wow, MC likes me….. He posted my question. It was even posted on Saturday…

    Sorry Ghostrider, I don't think the CFO (Mrs BlogStocker) would allow me to buy drinks for everyone on the InterWebs…

    Every time I turn around, I'm buying.. I just wish I could find some internet website where I could defend myself……Hmmm nothing comes to mind.


  4. Blogstalker Avenue goes through now? I thought it ended at Bromance Circle.

    Always wondered about this one, thanks, MC.

  5. OK, I concur with MC and the section he cited. Now to throw you guys a curveball….what if they turned into the left lane, not the right one, simultaneously? THEN who's at fault and why? I know the answer, and I'm pretty sure MC does too…I'll be awaiting more posts

  6. I would say the person making the right is "more" at fault.
    I think the person making the right is only permitted to enter the far right lane ( I just looked it up, I was correct CVC 22100(a)). Where the person making the left can enter any (I'm sure it says safe, or clear) lane..
    But the person making the left would still have violated CVC 21801(a), as they did not yield to the opposing vehicle that was a hazard.


  7. ". . . when its safe to do so . . ." is a key phrase. I would quote you a VC section, but dude, its 0100 hours and I am totally WASTED, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

    This question is predicated on the idea that one guy is WAY closer to the turn than the other guy, so it should be totally obvious to anybody that isn't a complete moron that the closer guy gets to go and that you can't, you know RAM HIM. I mean, c'mon, dude- if the other guy is in the way, SLOW DOWN AND LET HIM FINISH. It's like I'm talking to a resource room, here.
    It used to frustrate the Hell out of me when I would make a left-hand turn across Clayton Road to leave the street I lived on, and the people approaching from the left would lose their freaking minds. Look, jackhole, if I can make the turn safely, assuming you are following the speed limit, I AM RIGHT, DICKHEAD. Just because you are screaming down the road and will have to slow down to accomodate my turn doesn't mean I wronged you- YOU CAN ALWAYS JUST SLOW DOWN FOR A HALF-SECOND SO I CAN COMPLETE MY TURN. If that inconveniences you, MAYBE YOU SHOULS HAVLE LEFT A LITTLE EARLIER, DICKHEAD!!!!!

    Sorry, a little pet peeve of mine . . .

  8. Yes, the person turning right into the #1 (left) lane would be at fault. If I were the cop writing up the collision, I would put the PCF (primary collision factor) on the right turning driver per VC 22100(a), but I also wouldn't let the left turner completely off the hook. I would also cite an "associated factor" violation of VC 21801(a) for the moron turning left and not avoiding the collision. It's what is known in traffic cop lingo as a medical condition called RCI, which stands for rectal-cranial inversion, which is really the true PCF.

  9. Wait, aren't we taught this in Driver's Ed? I was. Along with the whole "maintain your lane" thing that covers the second scenario. (Actually, IIRC I looked it up in TX statutes & it's ok to make a right turn into the left lane if no one else is trying to turn into that lane.)

    I yield to people turning right all the time. It only annoys me when I'm turning left with a protected arrow, because that means the person turning right is doing so on a red light & forgetting that little thing about having to stop and yield to oncoming traffic first.

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