Q&A - Trapped! What Should I Do?

Q&A ImageSeveral weeks ago I followed two cars, already in a left turning lane, thinking turning left was only prohibited Monday through Friday up to 6:00 PM. While in the lane could see that it was Monday to Saturday, and I was in this lane on a Saturday prior to 6:00 PM.

What choices did I have!!

To my right there was a solid white line which I shouldn’t cross. When there were no cars in the lane to my right, I could have gone straight and veered off to the right to be in that lane. I think I remember reading in your column some years back that there was no law saying one can’t change lanes in an intersection, but it can be tricky and dangerous.

Any thoughts on this? (I did make the left hand turn as I wasn’t sure what else to do)


Only my opinion ...

... and I wasn't there to see the situation; but I think the better option, if it could be done safely, would have been to make a proper lane change across that solid white line and proceed straight.  Surely, a police officer would be understanding, given the situation.

From interest, where is this left-turn chute that is only useable during specific hours, and where is the sign advising of the restriction?  Because if the sign is at the intersection (rather than prior to it), that's a Catch-22 and the traffic engineers need to address it right away.

Scene of the Crime

The topic author has provided me with the information on the intersection involved.

This situation seems odd to me as I understood that turn prohibition was generally used where there was heavy traffic and no left turn lane. Restricting the turn during heavy traffic hours would prevent backing up through traffic as the driver sat in the lane and waited to turn left. If you are going to have a dedicated turn lane, restricting its use would cause confusion and this comment is an example of just that.

I'd say you have a defense to either infraction

When I first read your story, I though "that's impossible, no jurisdiction would create an intersection with that configuration".

Thank you for supplying the information on the intersection.

If I was a trier of fact, Judge of JJP, and you were in my court for either, making the left turn (Disoby a Movement Prohibition Sign) or for Crossing a Solid Line, I would find you not guilty.

If I were a police officer in this jurisdiction and came across someone disobeying either, I would not issue a ticket, but would be writing a report to the municipality of Courtenay to fix the situation.

This is a new one on me.

As for what I would do as a driver ?  Likely cross the solid line, however, think of the jeopardy you've been placed in civilly if you were involved in a collision when either turning contrary to the sign or crossing the solid line.  What a head ache.

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