Road Rants: Left turns at red lights

Traffic

Florida's law when it comes to one-way streets

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “Right on red” is a pretty standard driving habit for a lot of people. But is it ever okay to turn left on red?

The question a viewer asked me was specifically about the legality of turning left at a red light from a one-way street to another one-way street.

Florida does allow drivers to turn left at a steady red light after coming to a complete stop, and yielding to other drivers and pedestrians. However, local municipalities have the discretion to prohibit left turns at some intersections, and drivers always need to make sure to check for any signs advising against left-hand turns.

Here’s the official terms of Florida’s law:

Florida State Statute 316.075 (1) (c) (1) (b) TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL DEVICES says “The driver of a vehicle on a one-way street that intersects another one-way street on which traffic moves to the left shall stop in obedience to a steady red signal, but may then make a left turn into the one-way street, but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection, except that municipal and county authorities may prohibit any such left turn as described, which prohibition shall be effective when a sign giving notice thereof is attached to the traffic control signal device at the intersection.”

The left-on-red rule for one-way street applies almost everywhere in the United States, with a handful of exceptions. According to AAA, you can’t make a left turn on red in Connecticut, Missouri, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New York City. Just a heads up in case you’re driving out of state during the holidays.

Send me your Road Rants questions at mcensullo@wfla.com or on Facebook at WFLA Meredyth.

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