Ask a Trooper: Guide for turning left on a green light
Q: Can you talk about making a left turn at an intersection when you have a green light? Can I enter into the intersection while waiting for a break in traffic?...
Q: Can you talk about making a left turn at an intersection when you have a green light? Can I enter into the intersection while waiting for a break in traffic?
A: According to the Minnesota driver’s manual, the following are guidelines to follow when making a left turn:
While waiting to turn, keep your wheels straight and your foot on the brake. If your vehicle is struck from the rear, you will be less likely to be pushed into oncoming traffic.
Continue signaling until you begin your turn.
Do not make sudden turns from the wrong lane of traffic.
Watch for traffic or obstacles in the road you plan to enter.
Always finish your turn in the correct lane.
If the car ahead of you is signaling for a left turn, slow down and prepare to stop.
When waiting to make a left turn at a green traffic light with oncoming traffic, position your vehicle into the intersection. The only opportunity to make a left turn may occur when the green light changes to yellow.
If you are behind a vehicle making a left turn, do not enter the intersection in case the traffic light turns red as you might not be able to clear the intersection. This type of maneuver is against the law per Minnesota statute 169.15 IMPEDING TRAFFIC; INTERSECTION GRIDLOCK.
The intersection gridlock law applies specifically to entering an intersection (at a traffic control light) that you can’t cross because traffic is backed up through the intersection due to another red light, train, etc. Entering the intersection in this case is against the law. It happens in many cities and creates a lot of problems with the flow of traffic when one direction of traffic cannot continue on a green light because vehicles on the cross road are stopped and blocking the other lanes of traffic.
A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to firstname.lastname@example.org or Sgt. Neil Dickenson – Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave, Duluth, MN 55811. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach him at email@example.com .