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A turning dispute she should have bet a dinner on

Your column on turning from a two-way onto a one-way street did not answer a question I have. The other day we were the first car at a red light in the right lane on McAndrews at Court Street. My husband turned left onto Court, crossing in front of the car on our left. When I protested, he said it was legal, but I disagreed and believe it is legal only if we were in the left lane. Was I correct?

— Jan

Hope you had a nice dinner on the outcome, Jan, because you're correct. You didn't specify, but from your description, it appears you must have been in the westbound lanes and turning south, right next to King Wah's.

Sounds like your husband turned from the center of the three lanes, one being a left-turn-only lane and the other two being straight-ahead-only lanes. He's lucky the driver in the left-turn lane didn't proceed right at the same time.

That said, there are a few intersections where the middle lane is a turn lane also, and a turn on the red light can be made as long as one follows the conditions for allowed turns on red lights.

Examples that come to mind are eastbound Eighth Street and the option to turn left onto northbound Riverside Avenue or to go straight ahead; same thing coming off the northbound I-5 off ramp at Highway 62, where the middle lane allows you to turn right or left or go straight ahead. (No left turn on red from that one, however, because you're not turning onto a one-way street, but a right turn on red would be allowed.)

Another couple of examples are Stewart and Barnett in front of Hometown Buffet and Delta Waters at Highway 62 in front of Sonic Drive In, where drivers in both the right-most lane and the adjacent lane can make a right turn on red.

Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a weekly Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or e-mail cochradc@jacksoncounty.org.