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Left turns on red are sometimes legal

Can you make a left turn on a red arrow? I’ve seen people do it, but always thought it was illegal.

— Kelly B., Medford

It’s time to review the good old rules of the road. The problem is many of us haven’t read those rules since taking our driver’s license test. Because it’s been so long, we went straight to the source and found the official Oregon law regarding turning left on red signals.

According to Oregon law 811.360, a driver intending to turn at an intersection where there is a traffic light showing a steady red circular signal, red bicycle signal or red arrow may do the following: make a right turn into a two-way street, or make a right or left turn into a one-way street in the direction of traffic upon the one-way street.

Of course, this is after you’ve made a complete stop, checked for oncoming traffic, yielded to pedestrians and made sure the road is clear.

It’s legal to turn left on a red arrow in some situations, but be careful as you do. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.