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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: CVC 22101 (D) - Illegal Left Turn vs. Cross Solid White Line

    A "few" points… (you really made me put my thinking cap on...)

    Yes, I can see the non-readily apparent nature of having a left-turn lane with pavement markings and a regulatory sign restricting left-turns during certain times of day. Typically, the time of day left-turn restrictions were designed for roadways with only one lane in each direction. This was to prevent yielding left-turning motorists from queuing up and obstructing an intersection. The CA MUTCD does not explicitly address roadways with left-turn lanes. However, I believe a time of day turning restriction with a marked left-turn lane is in compliance with the CVC.

    It is a popular misconception that the presence of pavement markings mean that once you enter a lane, you’re locked in/committed to completing the indicated turning movement at the intersection. A marked turn lane only delineates where the indicated turning movement may be legally started and is required once you enter an intersection. However, a turning movement may only be started when it is legal to complete it and the posted time of day regulatory signs restricting left-turns prevent motorists from doing so.

    A left-turn pavement marking does not regulate the movements within an approach lane prior to entering an intersection (by definition of an intersection, the approach lanes are not considered a part of the intersection). Since the pavement marking simply regulates the turning movement that is required once a motorist legally enters an intersection from that marked lane, the motorist is not in conflict with an official traffic control device (the pavement marking) when the motorist merges out of the marked left-turn lane prior to entering the intersection (provided there is not a set of double solid white lines, island, or median).

    I hope that’s clear enough… I think in essence, the left-turn pavement markings and regulatory signs only regulate the turning movement within an intersection. The approach lanes prior to the limit line/crosswalk are not considered part of an intersection per the CVC. Thus, you are not in conflict with any traffic control devices when you merge out of a left-turn lane with a single solid white line prior to entering the intersection.

    Also, when I mentioned about the CHP officers not ticketing, I meant it for motorists who had not yet entered the intersection and were attempting to merge back into the through traffic. If you entered the intersection from the left-turn lane, you’ve already clearly broken the law. Also, if you were sitting there waiting to complete your left-turn (i.e. not attempting to merge back into through traffic), I can see you getting a ticket as well.

    Again, I hope all that made sense...

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: CVC 22101 (D) - Illegal Left Turn vs. Cross Solid White Line

    Quote Quoting bruinPE
    View Post
    Yes, I can see the non-readily apparent nature of having a left-turn lane with pavement markings and a regulatory sign restricting left-turns during certain times of day. Typically, the time of day left-turn restrictions were designed for roadways with only one lane in each direction. This was to prevent yielding left-turning motorists from queuing up and obstructing an intersection. The CA MUTCD does not explicitly address roadways with left-turn lanes. However, I believe a time of day turning restriction with a marked left-turn lane is in compliance with the CVC.
    Agreed... When you mentioned the normal signs & the illuminated signs, I tried to visualize those intersections where I'd seen both sign types, and in all honesty, I cannot think of a single intersection having a left turn pocket (though I do for a fact, know that there are a few illuminated signs with a time restricted left turn where itis two lanes in each direction). So the OP's situation here (turn pocket + time restriction) must be an oddity.

    Quote Quoting bruinPE
    View Post
    It is a popular misconception that the presence of pavement markings mean that once you enter a lane, you’re locked in/committed to completing the indicated turning movement at the intersection. A marked turn lane only delineates where the indicated turning movement may be legally started and is required once you enter an intersection. However, a turning movement may only be started when it is legal to complete it and the posted time of day regulatory signs restricting left-turns prevent motorists from doing so.

    A left-turn pavement marking does not regulate the movements within an approach lane prior to entering an intersection (by definition of an intersection, the approach lanes are not considered a part of the intersection). Since the pavement marking simply regulates the turning movement that is required once a motorist legally enters an intersection from that marked lane, the motorist is not in conflict with an official traffic control device (the pavement marking) when the motorist merges out of the marked left-turn lane prior to entering the intersection (provided there is not a set of double solid white lines, island, or median).

    I hope that’s clear enough… I think in essence, the left-turn pavement markings and regulatory signs only regulate the turning movement within an intersection. The approach lanes prior to the limit line/crosswalk are not considered part of an intersection per the CVC. Thus, you are not in conflict with any traffic control devices when you merge out of a left-turn lane with a single solid white line prior to entering the intersection.
    Makes all kinds of sense...

    In fact, I'll add to it by saying that 22101(b) (the "qualifier" for a violation of 22101(d)) specifically states "When an additional clearly marked traffic lane is provided for the approach to the turning movement"... which goes to differentiate between the "approach to the turn" (which happens in the lane itself/before the intersection) versus the actual turn (which happens inside the intersection).

    Now, if I'm understanding all this correctly, the analogy that a driver is not prohibited from leaving a dedicated turn lane if IT IS ONLY marked by a pavement marker (turn arrow), does not apply to a right turn only lane if/when it is marked by both, a pavement marking (the arrow) IN ADDITION TO a "Right Lane Must Turn Right" regulatory sign, correct?

    And thank you, again, for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: CVC 22101 (D) - Illegal Left Turn vs. Cross Solid White Line

    It is my understanding that you are still permitted to safely merge out of a dedicated right-turn lane (prior to entering an intersection) even when both right-turn pavement markings and the R3-7 (Right Lane Must Turn Right) sign is present (again, only if there is no double set of solid white lines, median, island, etc).

    The presence of the R3-7 sign still does not regulate the movements within the approach lane; it still only gives “notice” of the required turning movement when you enter the intersection from that marked lane.

    The purpose of CVC 22101(b) is to determine when a regulatory sign is required to be installed for a turn lane (it allows dedicated left-turn/right-turn lanes to exist with only pavement markings and no regulatory signs).

    For this reason, you very seldom see a R3-7(L) “Left Lane Must Turn Left” sign unless you are on the terminating approach of a T-shaped intersection. If CVC 22101(b) did not exist, there would have to be R3-7(L) “Left Lane Must Turn Left” signs at every left-turn lane.


    Example:

    You are traveling on a roadway with two lanes in each direction. As you approach an intersection:

    #1. The roadway widens to two through lanes in each direction and a dedicated right-turn lane. This dedicated right-turn lane is only required to have a right-turn pavement marking at the beginning of the right-turn lane. If the right-turn lane is long, the right-turn pavement marking should be repeated to not create an entrapment situation if a vehicle chooses to legally merge over past the marked entry to the right-turn lane. This is the reason why most long turn pockets have at least two turn pavement markings (one at the beginning of the turn lane and one before entering the intersection).

    #1b The roadway widens to two through lanes in each direction and a dedicated right-turn lane. However, there is a driveway that opens out into the dedicated right-turn lane at a point beyond the marked entry (and required right-turn pavement marking). Since there is no “clearly marked additional lane” when turning right onto the roadway from the driveway, the R3-7 sign shall be installed (typically at the intersection along with another right-turn pavement marking).

    #2. The roadway remains the same width with two lanes in each direction, but the #2 lane is striped as a right-turn lane. This means that the R3-7 sign must be posted in advance of the right-turn lane (per MUTCD guidelines to prevent entrapment) and next to the right-turn lane, in addition to the appropriate pavement markings.

    From an engineering standpoint, it is typically considered best practice to install a R3-7 at all dedicated right-turn lanes, but it is not necessarily required for all situations by the CVC or CA MUTCD.

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