Q&A - Who Goes First, Left Turn or Straight Through?

Q&A ImageQ: I'm looking for your assistance in settling a debate. This depicts the camera vehicle making a left turn in front of a vehicle proceeding straight through the intersection around a left turning vehicle. The camera operator is of the thought that since there is only one lane of travel that the vehicle should have waited behind the left turning vehicle and that the camera operator had the right of way. The white vehicle made an illegal pass on the right.

I argue that as per section 158 of the MVA that the white car was permitted to pass the left turning vehicle on the right and had right of way in the intersection (158)(1)(a).

What are your thoughts?

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I went and had a look at this intersection. Unfortunately the view is from 2015 and I can see that there are changes underway in that part of the intersection.

It appears from the video that the vehicle across from the camera car can go by the left turning vehicle without traveling off of the roadway. There is no line creating multiple lanes and the front vehicle is signaling a left turn. So, under these conditions, passing on the right may be legal.

When it comes to deciding who goes first, many drivers have no idea what is required of the driver of the vehicle traveling straight through. They might have to yield to the vehicle turning left.

Not knowing how well our driver passing on the right can see oncoming traffic, his pass may or may not be unsafe.

Since our left turning camera vehicle is third in, he's facing a vehicle that is approaching so closely that it is a hazard. He needs to yield.

No argument!

Section 174 applies, and our camera car driver needs to be aware of it.

But then, so do the oncoming vehicles ...

Yielding right of way on left turn

174  When a vehicle is in an intersection and its driver intends to turn left, the driver must yield the right of way to traffic approaching from the opposite direction that is in the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard, but having yielded and given a signal as required by sections 171 and 172, the driver may turn the vehicle to the left, and traffic approaching the intersection from the opposite direction must yield the right of way to the vehicle making the left turn.



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