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PSA: make right-hand turns from the right-most lane. It's the law.

Original post made by Scott, Atherton: other, on May 24, 2022

Background: Today, I was taking my child to Encinal Elementary school in the morning. As part of my drive, I take Middlefield, which has a bicycle lane. I drove to the right-most lane at Middlefield-x-Encinal, which includes the bicycle lane, and checked for pedestrians.

I was about to proceed when I received a knock on my car window. It was a police officer, who was hanging out next to the crossing guard. I rolled down my window; he explained that I'm not allowed to merge into the bicycle lane as part of making my right turn. To be clear, he was professional and polite.

He was also completely wrong.

To be clear: All motor vehicles are required to use the right-most-lane to make a right turn (unless there are unambiguous markings on the road allowing for a 2nd lane to make a right. 5th-x-ElCamino, for example). This INCLUDES bicycle lanes if there is a dashed white line separating the automobile lane and bicycle lane, which is the case at Middlefield & Encinal.

I wouldn't make a big deail about this (again, the officer was professional), but it's likely this misinformation is being propagated, and I feel compelled to share my story to ensure people are not mis-informed.

Bottom line: when you make a right turn in California, you need to use the bicycle lane as part of your turn if the lane is separated by a dashed line.

The California Driver's Handbook, see page 51:
Web Link

Comments (1)

Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 26, 2022 at 8:26 am

pogo is a registered user.

I commend you for taking the time to do your research! You are absolutely right - the text couldn't be clearer!


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