Turn on Red

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:01 pm by Martin

One of the unique things here in the U.S. traffic-wise is that you are allowed to do a right turn when the traffic light in your direction is red. Apparently, this was introduced in the 70s to safe fuel. When you want to turn on red you have come to a full stop, yield to any other traffic that has green and pedestrians crossing the street, and when safe you can proceed.

This whole turn-on-red business took me quite a while to get used to. When you’ve been driving for more than 10 years with a red light meaning “STOP and wait for the green light to proceed”, it is kind of hard to get rid of the guilt that you feel when suddenly you’re allowed to violate one of the basic traffic laws (at least in your home country). So the first few weeks of driving here I always felt I was doing something wrong when turning on red and unconsciously caught myself looking around to see if a cop would be just standing around the corner waiting to give me a ticket. Now that I’ve gotten used to it I think it’s great!

Although, it does have some downsides, mostly for pedestrians. Drivers sometimes are too concerned with traffic coming from the left and don’t see the pedestrians crossing the street on the right. Or they pull up too close and block the pedestrian crossing.

Traffic Lights