Splitting lane for right turn is illegal
While making a right turn from the freeway exit onto Highland, a driver pulled alongside me on the left side of my vehicle to make the same turn. I know that at times a driver may come alongside another car to make a turn to the right when there are two lanes. Was this a legal maneuver? It did create some tension when we both left at the same time to enter the traffic flow, which at the time was very heavy.
— Wayne H., via email
Wayne, as there is only one right turn lane from Interstate 5 onto Highland Drive, there should only be one car turning right.
By turning right at the same time as you from a single lane of traffic and making an improperly executed right turn, this driver violated Oregon Revised Statutes 811.355, said Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau in an email.
Now had he been turning right from Center Drive onto Barnett Road or from East Stewart Avenue onto Barnett Road, he would have been — pun alert — in the right because there are two designated right turn lanes at that intersection.
According to the 2014-15 Oregon Driver Manual, two cars may make a right at the same time from different lanes only when both lanes have been designated right turn lanes (see pavement markings) and the traffic control signal allows it.
Additional rules exist (ORS 811.360) for making a right turn on a red. But, red light or not, this driver made an unlawful turn when he tried to share your lane.
—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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.