New Driver Question: Left Turn at Busy Intersection


Comment: Hi, I was in a situation during my road test in which I had to turn left at a 4-way intersection with lights across a two-lane road.

I slightly entered the intersection because I had a green light, but had to yield to the traffic coming from the other side. After about 15 seconds, the light turned yellow but several cars in the other lane all tried to beat the light, leaving me in the same spot. The light then turned red and I did not feel safe to turn since the cars from the road I was trying to turn into would’ve gotten a green, so I didn’t turn. I failed on being over the stop line. What would’ve been the correct thing to do in this situation? Thanks

Hi, The correct thing would have been to enter the intersection the correct amount and then to have exited the intersection (Completed your turn) as soon as – but not until – it was safe; in your case, you would have entered the intersection further than you did and then still made your turn after the vehicles that went through the intersection when it was yellow/red.  If you don’t enter the intersection on green, then you aren’t allowed to turn after the light goes yellow or red. If you do enter the intersection when it is green, then you are allowed – and must –  leave the intersection whenever it is safe, regardless what colour the traffic light is at that time. Traffic lights legally control traffic approaching intersections, not traffic already inside them.

Check out this article for a more detailed answer:

Tips to Turn Left at a Traffic Light – Epic Safety Tips

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