Question from a Patch Reader: Is it correct to pull halfway into an intersection while waiting for oncoming traffic to pass through before completing a left turn? It drives me crazy when drivers wait at a line until all the oncoming cars pass. Then, they inch up and complete their left turns. This blocks traffic so only one car can get through a light. What is the law here?
Answer from Bradley Sadek, CHP spokesman:
I finally cleared up this issue!
I was pretty sure I knew the answer to this one. I started thumbing through the California Vehicle Code and found answers… and more questions. I was forced to query the folks behind the curtain! I contacted the CHP Academy where they study this stuff like college professors. Here is the answer:
If a person is driving straight through an intersection (NOT TURNING) law requires a motorist to enter the intersection, only when there is enough room to completely traverse the intersection. For drivers making a left turn, this rule does not apply! If a driver faces a green light, they are authorized to enter the intersection and wait for clearance to complete their turn. HOWEVER, the driver is not allowed to enter the intersection for a left turn if they are facing a yellow light.