> a. At a green light you may make a left turn
> only if there is no hazard from oncoming traffic
> and it is not prohibited. When making a left turn
> at an uncontrolled intersection or a circular
> green light with no arrow, you must yield to
> oncoming traffic. It is a good practice to pull
> into the intersection in preparation for the turn.
> Once in the intersection you must complete your
> turn even if the light has turned yellow or red.
I don't know what book you found that in, or if it has any relevance to VA laws. I've been given a ticket for running a red in the exact "good practice" scenario mentioned above. The Fairfax County cop's exact words were "Unless you can safely clear the intersection, you must remain behind the white line. You should never try to race a yellow light to make your turn, either. I've been to too many accident scenes where someone tried to beat the yellow only to be t-boned by someone else also running the light in the oncoming lanes."
I thought the same thing you think, and I went to court to fight that ticket. The judge very calmly explained to me, in a manner that made it seem like he's said it a thousand times, "under no circumstances should you enter any intersection until you can safely clear the intersection. I mean, no matter if you are turning or going straight down the road. You don't enter the intersection until you can proceed through, all the way."
I bet you also think that it is okay to turn left into the right lane of a four-lane road, or right into the left lane, don't you? You know, like everyone else does? Well, when I took the behind the wheel test when I was 16, at the Tyson's DMV, I did that and the tester said he could count that as a reason to fail me if he wanted to. Even if you are going to make the next right, when you make a left you turn into the left lane, then change lanes into the right lane to make your turn. That's just the law, even if nobody seems to do it, or even know it.
Hell, in my neighborhood, there are about two dozen people who park their cars on the wrong side of the road, facing in the wrong direction. They are too lazy to turn around and park properly, and they apparently have never looked at a preprinted parking ticket slip that plainly lists that as a $50 offense. Just because a lot of people do it, often a majority, doesn't make it legal or proper. Look at all the left-lane bandits on the roads. It seems most drivers have no concept that it is illegal to remain in the left lane after an overtaking car has given an audible or visible signal.
§ 46.2-842.1. Drivers to give way to certain overtaking vehicles on divided highways.
It shall be unlawful to fail to give way to overtaking traffic when driving a motor vehicle to the left and abreast of another motor vehicle on a divided highway. On audible or light signal, the driver of the overtaken vehicle shall move to the right to allow the overtaking vehicle to pass as soon as the overtaken vehicle can safely do so. A violation of this section shall not be construed as negligence per se in any civil action.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/2009 03:56AM by Bob.