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OSR: Is it actually against the law or just rude to do this behind the wheel?

Posted: 7:04 PM, Aug 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-24 18:12:18-04
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One ABC15 viewer emailing roads@abc15.com with this question to our Operation Safe Roads team:

"Is it illegal or just discourteous to make a left or right turn into any lane other than the one you are turning from?"

To answer Larry's question, it isn't just rude or dangerous - it is actually against the law and you can be cited for it.

The Scottsdale Police Department sent us this Arizona State Statute:

28-751. Required position and method of turning

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn shall do so as follows:

1. Right turns. Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

2. Left turns. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left shall approach the turn in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle. If practicable the driver shall make the left turn from the left of the center of the intersection and shall make the turn to the left lane immediately available for the driver's direction of traffic.

3. The director or local authorities in their respective jurisdictions may cause markers, buttons or signs to be placed and may require and direct that a different course from that specified in this section be traveled by vehicles turning at an intersection. When markers, buttons or signs are so placed, a driver of a vehicle shall not turn a vehicle other than as directed and required by the markers, buttons or signs.

4. Two-way left turn lanes. If a special lane for making left turns by drivers proceeding in opposite directions has been indicated by official traffic control devices:

(a) A driver shall not make a left turn from any other lane.
(b) A driver shall not drive a vehicle in the lane except if preparing for or making a left turn from or into the roadway or if preparing for or making a u-turn if otherwise permitted by law.

Basically, drivers making a left need to turn into the left lane that is "immediately available," per the statute.

Right turns are required to follow the same rules.

A driver needs to make a right turn into the lane closest to the edge of the roadway.

Do you have a question for Operation Safe Roads? You can email, like Larry did with this question at roads@abc15.com. You can also call our Operation Safe Roads hotline at 833-AZROADS.