Stuck in an Intersection
Lately I have noticed a number of drivers who have entered the intersection on the green traffic light intending to make a left turn and then backed up instead of turning once the light has changed to red. There are a number of reasons that a driver should not do this as it creates confusion for other drivers and is an illegal movement.
If you have entered the intersection to make your left turn, it is illegal to back over a crosswalk to leave it. If other left turn traffic is present behind you, they have likely pulled up to the stop line and will prevent you from leaving the intersection in any event. The result is a crosswalk that is blocked and pedestrians who are forced to detour into areas of the roadway that other drivers don't expect to find them in.
The driver making the turn is not the only cause of the problem. They feel forced to do something other than make their intended turn when other traffic begins to stream through the intersection blocking the way. A green light does not grant immediate access to the intersection! One cannot enter when the light turns green if left turn traffic has lawfully occupied the intersection and has not yet cleared it.
Yielding on left turns is always a problem at both controlled and uncontrolled intersections. If we are approaching each other across the intersection and I am signalling and approaching you closely enough to be a hazard if I were to turn, I have to yield and let you pass by. If you are not close enough to be a hazard, you must yield and let me turn left. Imagine the long lines of traffic waiting behind left turn vehicles that could be eliminated if oncoming drivers followed their duty to yield.
When everything works as it should, you signal left, enter the intersection on the green, yield to traffic approaching closely and then approaching traffic yields to allow you to turn. If the traffic light you are facing changes to red while you are waiting for oncoming traffic to yield, cross traffic must not enter the intersection when the light turns green for them until you have had a chance to complete your turn.