Automotive

Right turn on red question

  • Last Updated:
  • May 18th, 2019 4:17 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 19, 2015
934 posts
484 upvotes
Calgary, AB

Right turn on red question

Would you turn right on red here/is it legal to do so?

Image

It's a road in the South of Calgary, turning on to Maclead Trail (major multi lane road). The side road widens to two lanes, with a dedicated right turn lane, and two sets of traffic lights on the far side (where the red car is). I believe there is only one lane on the far side. If you're sat in the right turn lane (just to the right of the black car) can you legally turn right on red?

There's no sign saying no right turn on red, but there is a light with a large arrow that is presumably dedicated to the right turn lane.

Neither of us in the car were sure in this situation, but the person behind - that lent on the horn for 20 seconds - was obviously sure we could...
18 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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Right turn on red is cool unless there is a sign saying not to.

Of course only when safe to do so in all cases.

Tell us the the intersection and direction of travel and we can tell you for sure.
Deal Addict
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Jan 16, 2011
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If you're allowed to turn right on red and there's no sign saying "no right on red" and why exactly are you not allowed to turn right on a red? If there was a light that said right turn or right lane and it was red then you couldn't make a right on red but I don't see that in your picture...
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Mar 7, 2007
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It is legal.

In Ontario, source: https://www.ontario.ca/document/officia ... #section-2

"Unless a sign tells you not to, you may make a right turn facing a red light, as long as you first come to a complete stop and wait until the way is clear. Remember to signal your turn and yield to pedestrians and others using the road."


In Alberta, source: https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/ddca813 ... 019-03.pdf
"Unless prohibited by a sign, you may turn right on a red light after you come to a complete stop at the proper stopping point (stop line or crosswalk)."
Last edited by motomondo on May 16th, 2019 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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As identified above, right turn on red is allowed unless it's specifically NOT allowed. :) As in, there's a sign or light to indicate you can't.

The green arrow allows you to turn in the direction indicated by the arrow without stopping. As in, you have the right-of-way. In the case of a right turn, it would mean that on-coming left turning traffic is halted (probably by their own turn signal light), and cross traffic is halted (probably because only left/right turns are being allowed at that particular time). So it means there SHOULDN'T be any traffic or pedestrian traffic appearing in your lane.

https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/ddca813 ... 019-03.pdf

This document covers the situation indicated. In the PDF file, they only show a left turn arrow, but the text says:
GREEN ARROW WITH RED LIGHT:
Drivers facing a traffic control light with a green arrow and a red control light may enter the intersection and proceed without stopping only in the direction indicated by the arrow.
which covers both left and right turn arrows.

Keep in mind the risk here is pedestrians/bikes who are trying to jump the walk signal, and possibly on-coming left turn traffic that don't stay in their own lane. You may have the right of way, but you still don't want to ruin your day.

C
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 19, 2015
934 posts
484 upvotes
Calgary, AB
Xtrema wrote: Right turn on red is cool unless there is a sign saying not to.

Of course only when safe to do so in all cases.

Tell us the the intersection and direction of travel and we can tell you for sure.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@50.976014,- ... a=!3m1!1e3

This one, coming from the east, going north.

Image


kr0zet wrote: If you're allowed to turn right on red and there's no sign saying "no right on red" and why exactly are you not allowed to turn right on a red? If there was a light that said right turn or right lane and it was red then you couldn't make a right on red but I don't see that in your picture...
That's the big question.

Image

Is the second traffic light with the large right turn arrow an indication that that light is for the right turn lane, and can you still turn right when it's red.

There are several other similar right turn lanes on other roads in the area that don't have a dedicated traffic light, which is why I question why this one does have one that appears to be specifically for that lane.

EDIT: And just to clarify, there is no green arrow on the lights. Both are just standard Red, yellow, green lights. The light could just be there as a "yield" reminder when it's red, but seems a bit odd compared to the other roads in the area.
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Sep 9, 2012
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Andy34 wrote: https://www.google.ca/maps/@50.976014,- ... a=!3m1!1e3

This one, coming from the east, going north.

Image





That's the big question.

Image

Is the second traffic light with the large right turn arrow an indication that that light is for the right turn lane, and can you still turn right when it's red.

There are several other similar right turn lanes on other roads in the area that don't have a dedicated traffic light, which is why I question why this one does have one that appears to be specifically for that lane.
There’s no sign saying you cannot so there’s no problem as long as you come to a complete stop and you make your turn in safety.

@CNeufeld and @motomondo have given good explanations and sources.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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Ya OP, stop, make sure no car coming and you are good to go. You deserved the honking.
[OP]
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Dec 19, 2015
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Calgary, AB
Well universal opinion. Thanks.

Just some odd signing and a lack of any advanced green arrows was the reason both of us were a little confused at the junction. There really is no need for a second traffic light there in this situation.
Xtrema wrote: Ya OP, stop, make sure no car coming and you are good to go. You deserved the honking.
Last I checked there is no requirement to do a right turn on red. It's a courtesy, if you don't want to go, you don't have to. If you want to be a **** about someone being cautious, that's your prerogative though, just don't expect anyone to accommodate you because of it.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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Andy34 wrote: Last I checked there is no requirement to do a right turn on red. It's a courtesy, if you don't want to go, you don't have to. If you want to be a **** about someone being cautious, that's your prerogative though, just don't expect anyone to accommodate you because of it.
Legally, you can do 30kph in 50kph zone too. You just have to deal with the consequences that may arise.

Now I know there are a lot of foreigners that doesn't understand right on red, so I always give someone the benefit of the doubt. But don't expect everyone on the road willing to give you that.
Deal Addict
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Oct 29, 2006
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Same thing in Toronto at Bayview northbound at Pottery road. Trips people up all the time.

PSA: Stop here on red signal, literally means what it says. When you come to a red signal, you’re supposed to come to a complete stop. Here’s the line to do it! After stopping and making sure the way is clear, PLEASE proceed with your turn.
5A4F2045-15C6-4DAD-9B42-7004DB5B2A22.jpeg
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Mar 10, 2005
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It's legal just make sure to check for crossing pedestrians because you don't want to be stuck over the cross walk while waiting for cross traffic to clear.
Discomfort is your friend
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Jan 18, 2003
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philharmonic wrote: Same thing in Toronto at Bayview northbound at Pottery road. Trips people up all the time.

PSA: Stop here on red signal, literally means what it says. When you come to a red signal, you’re supposed to come to a complete stop. Here’s the line to do it! After stopping and making sure the way is clear, PLEASE proceed with your turn.

5A4F2045-15C6-4DAD-9B42-7004DB5B2A22.jpeg
been through this many times... didn't think there is any uncertainty...

The sign about stop here on red.... you see that sign alot in the city... nothing special
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 19, 2015
934 posts
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Calgary, AB
Just realized why people started talking about green arrows, my initial post wasn’t clear that I meant a sign with an arrow on. Looking at the picture on my phone the obvious black sign with an arrow on beside the traffic light isn’t as clear. It’s a large sign with a right arrow, indicating that light is for the right turn only lane.
Xtrema wrote: Legally, you can do 30kph in 50kph zone too. You just have to deal with the consequences that may arise.

Now I know there are a lot of foreigners that doesn't understand right on red, so I always give someone the benefit of the doubt. But don't expect everyone on the road willing to give you that.
What consequences? Rear ending you? Road raging against you? Getting out and trying to beat you up because you waited for a green light? I who’d side the police will be on if that happens...

And yes, I also do 30 in a 50 quite often if it’s a residential road with potential for kids jumping out. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. No 1 rule of driving. Don’t be a ****. Something way too many overly aggressive drivers (usually younger males in sedans) fail at time after time.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 19, 2015
934 posts
484 upvotes
Calgary, AB
philharmonic wrote: Same thing in Toronto at Bayview northbound at Pottery road. Trips people up all the time.

PSA: Stop here on red signal, literally means what it says. When you come to a red signal, you’re supposed to come to a complete stop. Here’s the line to do it! After stopping and making sure the way is clear, PLEASE proceed with your turn.

5A4F2045-15C6-4DAD-9B42-7004DB5B2A22.jpeg
Not the same as the original question.

I’m talking about the big black sign hung up next to the traffic light, not the stop line sign.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Andy34 wrote: Just realized why people started talking about green arrows, my initial post wasn’t clear that I meant a sign with an arrow on. Looking at the picture on my phone the obvious black sign with an arrow on beside the traffic light isn’t as clear. It’s a large sign with a right arrow, indicating that light is for the right turn only lane.



What consequences? Rear ending you? Road raging against you? Getting out and trying to beat you up because you waited for a green light? I who’d side the police will be on if that happens...

And yes, I also do 30 in a 50 quite often if it’s a residential road with potential for kids jumping out. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. No 1 rule of driving. Don’t be a ****. Something way too many overly aggressive drivers (usually younger males in sedans) fail at time after time.
Go ahead and obstruct traffic if you like. But don’t be surprised when you get honked at. Your choice as to whether you care or not, but at least you’ll know now why you got honked at.

C
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 19, 2015
934 posts
484 upvotes
Calgary, AB
CNeufeld wrote: Go ahead and obstruct traffic if you like. But don’t be surprised when you get honked at. Your choice as to whether you care or not, but at least you’ll know now why you got honked at.

C
That was the point of the thread. I’d rather get honked at than get a ticket if I’m not sure. Now I know and will treat that as any other red.

Thanks for trying to help, although I’m not sure if your post was actually relevant to my situation.

That specific post was about people like Xterma who seems to have road rage issues, not that I care about honking.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
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BC
OP, I think you are making a connection between the big black arrow sign and the adjacent light signal when none was intended by traffic engineers.

As evident on Macleod trail they place signal lights on each lane. Might be considered overkill by other jurisdictions.

The arrow sign is there specifically to clarify that one lane disappears in that direction of travel and you MUST turn right if you are in the right-hand lane.

The light signal is there only so that it is directly ahead in the view of a driver in the right turn lane.
I can't see that it would ever be a different colour than the one for the through lane.
Can you think of a circumstance where it would?
Maybe if the through lane needed to be closed for some reason (e.g. accident) they might want to manually change the configuration sequence to red for the through lane and green for Macleod Trail as a diversion.

It would be less confusing if they repositioned the big black arrow sign a few feet to the right.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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Andy34 wrote: What consequences? Rear ending you? Road raging against you? Getting out and trying to beat you up because you waited for a green light? I who’d side the police will be on if that happens...
All of the above? It's all about situation awareness and courtesy. You never know what mindset the guy behind you is in. So why start something when you are safe to move on?
Andy34 wrote: That specific post was about people like Xterma who seems to have road rage issues, not that I care about honking.
I think you misunderstood me. I'm trying to SAVE you from people who have road rage issue. I won't honk in such situation, like I said, I will give them benefit of the doubt that driver could be a noob. :D

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