Ask a Trooper: Keep to the right when turning across mediansSend your question: E-mail email@example.com or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
Q: When crossing a divided highway at an uncontrolled crossing, or making a left-hand turn across the lanes of traffic going the other way on a divided highway, what side of that opening in the median should you be on? I was always taught if you are the car making the turn from the left-hand lane across the other lanes, you are to pull to the far side of that median opening, so that you are lined up with the correct side of the street you are turning onto. Or if you are attempting to cross the divided highway at the uncontrolled crossing, you are to stay to the right side of the median opening (to line you up with the correct side of the street you are pulling onto). But it seems more and more drivers are not aware of which side of the median opening they should be on, and they are always giving me dirty looks or stopping to wait for traffic directly in front of me. Am I the goof causing the traffic problems, or are the other drivers in the wrong?
A: Generally you would stay to the right. Some intersections like that have a short center line or are signed or marked differently. If two vehicles are coming from the opposite direction (like both making left turns) then you would go to the inside, (or left). If both happen to go to the outside without crashing, then no harm is done. The bottom line is that you communicate with other drivers and avoid a crash.
Thanks for asking.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.