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Author Topic: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida  (Read 3416 times)

mike florida

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Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« on: June 18, 2017, 04:51:50 PM »

I found informative comments on this website after a google search and wanted to see if I could receive advice here. If I post this in the wrong section, please let me know and I'll try to correct it.

My wife recently received a ticket for "careless driving-blocking an intersection" while yielding to traffic at a solid green light in an intersection for a left turn. (I've spent over 20 years driving around the country with no moving violations or accidents and I taught my wife from China how to drive.) I called the police department to better understand their thinking and a Sargent informed me that if the light had turned red while she was in the intersection, it is an illegal turn. But the light did not even turn yellow. The officer that ticketed my wife claims she must wait behind the stop line for a gap in traffic. Traffic was not obstructed on the other side of the intersection she was turning into. We have police dash cam video to prove the road was not obstructed on the road she turned onto. I'm just worried the judge will also think it is illegal to wait in an intersection to make the left turn if both police officers believe it. I can only find two Florida statues that pertain to this and both suggest to me my wife did not violate any Florida laws. (316.2061 Stop when traffic obstructed.) (316.075 Traffic control signal devices.) Right or wrong, we need to know either way because we live in Florida.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows of any specific law in Florida that more thoroughly explains this left turn at light situation? Here is the thread I was reading that brought me here. https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16291.50

Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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Baloo Uriza

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 05:14:46 PM »

I found informative comments on this website after a google search and wanted to see if I could receive advice here. If I post this in the wrong section, please let me know and I'll try to correct it.

My wife recently received a ticket for "careless driving-blocking an intersection" while yielding to traffic at a solid green light in an intersection for a left turn. (I've spent over 20 years driving around the country with no moving violations or accidents and I taught my wife from China how to drive.) I called the police department to better understand their thinking and a Sargent informed me that if the light had turned red while she was in the intersection, it is an illegal turn. But the light did not even turn yellow. The officer that ticketed my wife claims she must wait behind the stop line for a gap in traffic. Traffic was not obstructed on the other side of the intersection she was turning into. We have police dash cam video to prove the road was not obstructed on the road she turned onto. I'm just worried the judge will also think it is illegal to wait in an intersection to make the left turn if both police officers believe it. I can only find two Florida statues that pertain to this and both suggest to me my wife did not violate any Florida laws. (316.2061 Stop when traffic obstructed.) (316.075 Traffic control signal devices.) Right or wrong, we need to know either way because we live in Florida.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows of any specific law in Florida that more thoroughly explains this left turn at light situation? Here is the thread I was reading that brought me here. https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16291.50

Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

The way 316.2061 looks is pretty clear.  Did she stop in the intersection while waiting to complete her turn?  Well, then you're pretty much going to have to deal with it.  http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2061.html
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2017, 05:20:09 PM »

I found informative comments on this website after a google search and wanted to see if I could receive advice here. If I post this in the wrong section, please let me know and I'll try to correct it.

My wife recently received a ticket for "careless driving-blocking an intersection" while yielding to traffic at a solid green light in an intersection for a left turn. (I've spent over 20 years driving around the country with no moving violations or accidents and I taught my wife from China how to drive.) I called the police department to better understand their thinking and a Sargent informed me that if the light had turned red while she was in the intersection, it is an illegal turn. But the light did not even turn yellow. The officer that ticketed my wife claims she must wait behind the stop line for a gap in traffic. Traffic was not obstructed on the other side of the intersection she was turning into. We have police dash cam video to prove the road was not obstructed on the road she turned onto. I'm just worried the judge will also think it is illegal to wait in an intersection to make the left turn if both police officers believe it. I can only find two Florida statues that pertain to this and both suggest to me my wife did not violate any Florida laws. (316.2061 Stop when traffic obstructed.) (316.075 Traffic control signal devices.) Right or wrong, we need to know either way because we live in Florida.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows of any specific law in Florida that more thoroughly explains this left turn at light situation? Here is the thread I was reading that brought me here. https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16291.50

Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

The way 316.2061 looks is pretty clear.  Did she stop in the intersection while waiting to complete her turn?  Well, then you're pretty much going to have to deal with it.  http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2061.html

He said that traffic was not obstructed on the other side.
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Baloo Uriza

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 05:27:04 PM »

I found informative comments on this website after a google search and wanted to see if I could receive advice here. If I post this in the wrong section, please let me know and I'll try to correct it.

My wife recently received a ticket for "careless driving-blocking an intersection" while yielding to traffic at a solid green light in an intersection for a left turn. (I've spent over 20 years driving around the country with no moving violations or accidents and I taught my wife from China how to drive.) I called the police department to better understand their thinking and a Sargent informed me that if the light had turned red while she was in the intersection, it is an illegal turn. But the light did not even turn yellow. The officer that ticketed my wife claims she must wait behind the stop line for a gap in traffic. Traffic was not obstructed on the other side of the intersection she was turning into. We have police dash cam video to prove the road was not obstructed on the road she turned onto. I'm just worried the judge will also think it is illegal to wait in an intersection to make the left turn if both police officers believe it. I can only find two Florida statues that pertain to this and both suggest to me my wife did not violate any Florida laws. (316.2061 Stop when traffic obstructed.) (316.075 Traffic control signal devices.) Right or wrong, we need to know either way because we live in Florida.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows of any specific law in Florida that more thoroughly explains this left turn at light situation? Here is the thread I was reading that brought me here. https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16291.50

Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

The way 316.2061 looks is pretty clear.  Did she stop in the intersection while waiting to complete her turn?  Well, then you're pretty much going to have to deal with it.  http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2061.html

He said that traffic was not obstructed on the other side.

So if it was clear, why stop in the intersection?
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2017, 05:42:37 PM »

I found informative comments on this website after a google search and wanted to see if I could receive advice here. If I post this in the wrong section, please let me know and I'll try to correct it.

My wife recently received a ticket for "careless driving-blocking an intersection" while yielding to traffic at a solid green light in an intersection for a left turn. (I've spent over 20 years driving around the country with no moving violations or accidents and I taught my wife from China how to drive.) I called the police department to better understand their thinking and a Sargent informed me that if the light had turned red while she was in the intersection, it is an illegal turn. But the light did not even turn yellow. The officer that ticketed my wife claims she must wait behind the stop line for a gap in traffic. Traffic was not obstructed on the other side of the intersection she was turning into. We have police dash cam video to prove the road was not obstructed on the road she turned onto. I'm just worried the judge will also think it is illegal to wait in an intersection to make the left turn if both police officers believe it. I can only find two Florida statues that pertain to this and both suggest to me my wife did not violate any Florida laws. (316.2061 Stop when traffic obstructed.) (316.075 Traffic control signal devices.) Right or wrong, we need to know either way because we live in Florida.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows of any specific law in Florida that more thoroughly explains this left turn at light situation? Here is the thread I was reading that brought me here. https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16291.50

Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

The way 316.2061 looks is pretty clear.  Did she stop in the intersection while waiting to complete her turn?  Well, then you're pretty much going to have to deal with it.  http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2061.html

He said that traffic was not obstructed on the other side.

So if it was clear, why stop in the intersection?

I interpret that link as saying you shouldn't enter the intersection if the road your turning left onto is full of cars.

I know in Ontario, you can sit past the stop bar on a green (I was taught to do that in driving school). Maybe Florida is different though.
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UCFKnights

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2017, 05:56:29 PM »

I found informative comments on this website after a google search and wanted to see if I could receive advice here. If I post this in the wrong section, please let me know and I'll try to correct it.

My wife recently received a ticket for "careless driving-blocking an intersection" while yielding to traffic at a solid green light in an intersection for a left turn. (I've spent over 20 years driving around the country with no moving violations or accidents and I taught my wife from China how to drive.) I called the police department to better understand their thinking and a Sargent informed me that if the light had turned red while she was in the intersection, it is an illegal turn. But the light did not even turn yellow. The officer that ticketed my wife claims she must wait behind the stop line for a gap in traffic. Traffic was not obstructed on the other side of the intersection she was turning into. We have police dash cam video to prove the road was not obstructed on the road she turned onto. I'm just worried the judge will also think it is illegal to wait in an intersection to make the left turn if both police officers believe it. I can only find two Florida statues that pertain to this and both suggest to me my wife did not violate any Florida laws. (316.2061 Stop when traffic obstructed.) (316.075 Traffic control signal devices.) Right or wrong, we need to know either way because we live in Florida.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows of any specific law in Florida that more thoroughly explains this left turn at light situation? Here is the thread I was reading that brought me here. https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16291.50

Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

The way 316.2061 looks is pretty clear.  Did she stop in the intersection while waiting to complete her turn?  Well, then you're pretty much going to have to deal with it.  http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2061.html

He said that traffic was not obstructed on the other side.

So if it was clear, why stop in the intersection?
Because you are required to yield to oncoming traffic. That statute is clear as day... saying if she pulled forward and there was traffic so she did not have room to complete her turn, she was wrong. The OP was clear that was not the case.

The law prohibits things, it doesn't provide instructions on how to make a permissive left. What your wife did was right(I'm in Florida as well, thats what I was taught as well, and did during my driving courses when getting my license), but cops who don't know the law are a problem. There is no law prohibiting what she did. Technically, if the dash cam footage shows she did not violate the statute number posted on the ticket, it doesn't even matter if what she did is legal or not. Its all up to the judge...

Cops will never go against each other and when you call, they will never side against their own officer writing a ticket, but sometimes, they will still tell the officer it was a bad ticket, and then the officer won't bother to show up to court, which indicates to the judge to dismiss said ticket. Sometime the ticket is just given for revenue purposes for the area, and its just a way to tax you... if you did right or wrong, the judge and cop both don't care. Florida is famous for that unfortunately.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 06:00:02 PM by UCFKnights »
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mike florida

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2017, 06:17:53 PM »

Correct, the traffic was not obstructed on the "other side" of the intersection she was turning left at. She waited "in" the intersection yielding to right of way traffic. Unfortunately, the officer did not turn on his dash cam until he started making the stop, so it was after her turn was completed. But the video does show the road she turned onto was not "obstructed", meaning she was allowed to enter the intersection when the light turned green (as I interpret the statue).

Thank you, UCFKnights. If I had to guess, maybe the officers are being encouraged to prevent intersections from being obstructed, but not paying close attention to how they become obstructed. The ticket was in the city of Gainesville and there are certain parts of the city, like near I75, where people block the intersections during rush hour because they enter when traffic is backed up, trying not to get 'caught' at the stop line before the light turns red again. I guess we'll show up to court and hope the judge interprets the law like you explained it! It makes perfect sense to me.
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2017, 07:09:57 PM »

Unfortunately, the officer did not turn on his dash cam until he started making the stop, so it was after her turn was completed.
How convenient.  I'm not sure that's a coincidence.
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2017, 07:15:02 PM »

Don't necessarily think the judge will side with the cop. And as mentioned, cops will usually agree with each other publicly.

In this case, a cop shouldn't have been able to stop someone because *maybe* something would happen.  Taken another way, a cop can't pull someone over for speeding simply because he was accelerating and may eventually exceed the limit.

What was the actual number of the violation, which would be a code similiar to the link you provided.

And also...just to give a heads up...Bazoo tends to favor mass transit and other non-vehicular modes of travel, and thus is a bit argumentative when it comes to what this group is about. I wouldn't necessarily trust his comments on stuff like this. Granted, all any one of us can do is provide opinions, but in my personal opinion, the cop stopped your wife on a basis of a theory of what could happen, not what did happen.

BTW...depending on the recording system used, cameras actually run at all times. (A cop won't reveal that though.) You can file an official request to get that video thru Florida's public information request form.
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2017, 07:31:39 PM »

Unfortunately, the officer did not turn on his dash cam until he started making the stop, so it was after her turn was completed.
How convenient.  I'm not sure that's a coincidence.

Methinks you should have put the word "not" after the word "that's."
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2017, 07:45:14 PM »

I found informative comments on this website after a google search and wanted to see if I could receive advice here. If I post this in the wrong section, please let me know and I'll try to correct it.

My wife recently received a ticket for "careless driving-blocking an intersection" while yielding to traffic at a solid green light in an intersection for a left turn. (I've spent over 20 years driving around the country with no moving violations or accidents and I taught my wife from China how to drive.) I called the police department to better understand their thinking and a Sargent informed me that if the light had turned red while she was in the intersection, it is an illegal turn. But the light did not even turn yellow. The officer that ticketed my wife claims she must wait behind the stop line for a gap in traffic. Traffic was not obstructed on the other side of the intersection she was turning into. We have police dash cam video to prove the road was not obstructed on the road she turned onto. I'm just worried the judge will also think it is illegal to wait in an intersection to make the left turn if both police officers believe it. I can only find two Florida statues that pertain to this and both suggest to me my wife did not violate any Florida laws. (316.2061 Stop when traffic obstructed.) (316.075 Traffic control signal devices.) Right or wrong, we need to know either way because we live in Florida.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows of any specific law in Florida that more thoroughly explains this left turn at light situation? Here is the thread I was reading that brought me here. https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16291.50

Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

The way 316.2061 looks is pretty clear.  Did she stop in the intersection while waiting to complete her turn?  Well, then you're pretty much going to have to deal with it.  http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2061.html

I doubt statue actually applies here. This is what we call "do not block the box", and similar laws exist in many state - but pulling forward for turn is still OK.
Moreover, 316.122 "Vehicle turning left" seems to  imply that turning vehicle may be within the intersection while yielding to traffic.
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mike florida

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Re: Left hand turn at solid green light; Florida
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2017, 08:17:34 PM »

All kinds of good advice here. Thanks!

The violation number is only 316-1925 https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/316.1925
But he wrote, "careless driving/blocking the intersection". I do not see how she was "endanger(ing) the life, limb, or property of any person". Good point to address the officer with. Thank you!

We did request and receive the dash camera video but it started about the time he turned on his lights, after her turn. But from where he was sitting, 'if' the camera was on before he made the stop, it should have recorded the entire turn in question with the traffic light in the back ground. I will call police records back to see if there is more video before the stop. I was reading online, some police cars do not run their cameras all the time because of the space/expense to store the data. But now you have me curious! I will call records back to see if there is more video. If the entire turn in question is on video, and as my wife describes (and I know her to be very honest and accurate), it should be an easy case to win. I worry not knowing what the officer will say in court for his reason, if we have no video of the violation.
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2017, 09:13:30 PM »

Baloo and I have argued about waiting in the intersection on several occasions, the most recent starting with this post here: https://goo.gl/TVdFCW. He is a staunch critic of waiting in the intersection. I think he's a fool; he must waste a lot of fuel, if he drives at all.

While I'm not familiar with Florida Law, my understanding with turning left at a green light is that pulling forward and turning after the light turns red is absolutely legal, that you have the right of way over traffic facing a red light (as you entered on a green light), and that it's often times the only way to turn left at an intersection. And that's pretty much the end of it. Obstruction laws apply when the destined street is full and cannot accomodate additional vehicles (and you end up sitting in the crosswalk or intersection). An officer trying to extend that law to apply to any cars that simply clear the intersection after their light turns red, is in my opinion, in the wrong, and is failing to comprehend the point of the "obstruction" law.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 08:44:56 AM by US71 »
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UCFKnights

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2017, 09:31:27 PM »

Correct, the traffic was not obstructed on the "other side" of the intersection she was turning left at. She waited "in" the intersection yielding to right of way traffic. Unfortunately, the officer did not turn on his dash cam until he started making the stop, so it was after her turn was completed. But the video does show the road she turned onto was not "obstructed", meaning she was allowed to enter the intersection when the light turned green (as I interpret the statue).

Thank you, UCFKnights. If I had to guess, maybe the officers are being encouraged to prevent intersections from being obstructed, but not paying close attention to how they become obstructed. The ticket was in the city of Gainesville and there are certain parts of the city, like near I75, where people block the intersections during rush hour because they enter when traffic is backed up, trying not to get 'caught' at the stop line before the light turns red again. I guess we'll show up to court and hope the judge interprets the law like you explained it! It makes perfect sense to me.
Unfortunately, that is one of the key areas of the state that is known for ticketing for profit, not caring if you are violating any statute or not. I know several people who've gotten "driving too fast for conditions" when they aren't even speeding, on a sunny day, and its in the county that has had AAA's billboards warning you of unreasonable speed traps. My understanding is it has gotten better after a bit of legislative action to reduce the ticketing for profit (requirements that a maximum percent of revenue for the department comes from tickets), but its still bad there.

I know a few officers at GPD and ACSO, and they do not typically control the cameras and they are triggered by one of the following:
- Driving over 80 MPH
- Turning on their emergency lights
- A button that they wear
- Some officers now have sensors that cause certain loud noises or removing their gun or taser from the holster trigger it.

Given that... its very unlikely the camera was recording before the lights went on in the vehicle.
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2017, 10:12:21 PM »

Baloo/Bazoo and I have argued about waiting in the intersection on several occasions, the most recent starting with this post here: https://goo.gl/TVdFCW. He is a staunch critic of waiting in the intersection. I think he's a fool; he must waste a lot of fuel, if he drives at all.

While I'm not familiar with Florida Law, my understanding with turning left at a green light is that pulling forward and turning after the light turns red is absolutely legal, that you have the right of way over traffic facing a red light (as you entered on a green light), and that it's often times the only way to turn left at an intersection. And that's pretty much the end of it. Obstruction laws apply when the destined street is full and cannot accomodate additional vehicles (and you end up sitting in the crosswalk or intersection). An officer trying to extend that law to apply to any cars that simply clear the intersection after their light turns red, is in my opinion, in the wrong, and is failing to comprehend the point of the "obstruction" law.

:clap: I hate it when people don't go into the intersection on the green (unless it's a really small intersection). It definitely improves efficiency when 1 or 2 people can make their left turn on the yellow or red. Otherwise, you have to wait until the green turn signal (assuming there is one)! In Ontario, people will not be impressed if you stay behind the line for no reason.
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2017, 10:21:43 PM »

People do this alot in Orlando and wait behind the stop bar and in most cases think the permissive turn is a protected one and sit there when the opposite direction is clear.
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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2017, 10:42:57 PM »

Baloo/Bazoo and I have argued about waiting in the intersection on several occasions, the most recent starting with this post here: https://goo.gl/TVdFCW. He is a staunch critic of waiting in the intersection. I think he's a fool; he must waste a lot of fuel, if he drives at all.

While I'm not familiar with Florida Law, my understanding with turning left at a green light is that pulling forward and turning after the light turns red is absolutely legal, that you have the right of way over traffic facing a red light (as you entered on a green light), and that it's often times the only way to turn left at an intersection. And that's pretty much the end of it. Obstruction laws apply when the destined street is full and cannot accomodate additional vehicles (and you end up sitting in the crosswalk or intersection). An officer trying to extend that law to apply to any cars that simply clear the intersection after their light turns red, is in my opinion, in the wrong, and is failing to comprehend the point of the "obstruction" law.

:clap: I hate it when people don't go into the intersection on the green (unless it's a really small intersection). It definitely improves efficiency when 1 or 2 people can make their left turn on the yellow or red. Otherwise, you have to wait until the green turn signal (assuming there is one)! In Ontario, people will not be impressed if you stay behind the line for no reason.

Same situation in Vancouver (Canada in general is quite good about this). Sometimes you'll only have room for two or three cars, but four or five cars will go after the light changes. The last two probably ran the light, but it's accepted behaviour. It really helps with traffic flow, particularly when the left turn has a protected phase (8 or 9 cars with the green arrow, plus three or four after the light goes red = gigantic through-put improvement).

Washington State is kind of an odd case. Seattle drivers are very good about pulling into the intersection, but the outer-lying suburbs are hit and miss. I get pretty worked up if I'm second from the front and I don't make the light.
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Jet380

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2017, 07:00:28 AM »

This is probably irrelevant, being a jurisdiction on the other side of the world, but since it's potentially about interpretation of a similar law, I'll post it here:

In Western Australia, it is legal to wait in the intersection to complete a right (against oncoming traffic) turn. The main roads authority says this on their website in relation to blocking an intersection:

Quote
A yellow box is painted on the road to show the extent of an intersection and indicate an area where drivers should not stop.  You may only enter a yellow box intersection when your exit is clear and there is enough space on the other side of the intersection for your vehicle to clear the box completely without stopping.

Drivers who are turning right can stop at an intersection if their turn is prevented by oncoming traffic until it is safe for the turn to be completed.  Drivers must not simply follow the car in front through a yellow box as they must not enter the yellow marked area unless your exit from the intersection is clear.

So even at specially marked 'box' intersections, we don't consider waiting to turn to be an obstruction.

That said, I have heard that it is not legal to have more than one car queuing in the intersection for a right turn - as the rear car is 'blocked' by the front car. Could it be that your wife followed another car into the intersection?

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mike florida

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2017, 08:13:48 AM »

@Jet380 She was the only car turning left. No one in front of her or behind her. As I suspected, it appears to me it was a 'bad' ticket. But choosing to take it to court is still risky because we could end up leaving there with the ticket plus court costs. Right now she should have the option for adjudication to be withheld if the pays the $159 fine plus takes a 4 hour online driving course that will cost additional money. It feels like a shakedown! Not a good feeling!

Thanks for your input!
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2017, 08:52:58 AM »

Court is always an uncertainty, no matter what.  I looked around online at the Florida Driver's Manual, but they were silent on the issue.  Also, modern engineering practices take this left turning into account - there's an all-red phase whenever the light turns red specifically to clear out any traffic that is waiting to turn out of the intersection.

If it was me, I would take it to court.  I'm using NJ as an example here...they generally will talk to you beforehand about a plea bargain.  You can consider that if the fine and points are right (low fine, no points, IMO).  Personally, I think you have a pretty good case though, based on the fact that the ticket was based on a theoretical case of blocking an intersection, and not on actually blocking it, and in no other way was she careless in operating the vehicle.  The worse case is you pay the court costs also, although I'm not sure how much they'll cost you if you lose ($30 or so maybe?).

To use an irrelevant NJ example again: We have countless intersections that are only one lane wide, with no turn arrow, and lots of traffic.  If we weren't permitted to move past the stop line to wait to make a left turn, traffic would be backed up for a long, long distance.  And then you run into another violation: Obstruction of traffic!  But that's what you get in an old state where buildings were built just a feet away from intersecting corners!
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roadfro

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2017, 04:10:40 PM »

I would agree with the bottom to take the ticket to court. If your wife can cite the applicable law and explain how the situation did not violate the law, I would think a judge would throw it out, or at least let it be argued down to a lesser, non-moving violation.

Also, modern engineering practices take this left turning into account - there's an all-red phase whenever the light turns red specifically to clear out any traffic that is waiting to turn out of the intersection.

The "all-red" isn't exactly an all way red time—the signal timing term is the "red clearance interval" It is a predetermined amount of red time appended to the end of a phase before any conflicting traffic phases can begin. So it's not something designed specifically for this turning movement, as a red clearance follows every signal phase movement. But it is a designed to give ANY traffic still in the intersection a little extra time to clear—this can include permissive lefts waiting for a gap, but also other things like thru traffic or pedestrians.

It should also be noted that a red clearance interval is not a given at all modern intersections. While it is a standard parameter in most NEMA signal controller and there are ITE guidelines for determining this an adequate amount of clearance time, it can come down to agency policy also. Some signals may be set for a negligible red clearance internal of 0.25 seconds or less.



LG-D850

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Roadfro - AARoads Pacific Southwest moderator since 2010, Nevada roadgeek since 1983.

kalvado

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2017, 05:03:45 PM »



If it was me, I would take it to court.  I'm using NJ as an example here...they generally will talk to you beforehand about a plea bargain.  You can consider that if the fine and points are right (low fine, no points, IMO).  Personally, I think you have a pretty good case though, based on the fact that the ticket was based on a theoretical case of blocking an intersection, and not on actually blocking it, and in no other way was she careless in operating the vehicle.  The worse case is you pay the court costs also, although I'm not sure how much they'll cost you if you lose ($30 or so maybe?).
I would try to point out that  law on a ticket is not applicable - since specific "do not block the box" law being quoted. Maybe find another state where pull to center is explicitly OK, and where "do not block the box" law also exists?

As for court fees... As far as I understand, many places can get you something like $50 ticket, $150 surcharge and $200 fee. Just because. 
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jakeroot

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2017, 07:22:43 PM »

Also, modern engineering practices take this left turning into account - there's an all-red phase whenever the light turns red specifically to clear out any traffic that is waiting to turn out of the intersection.

The "all-red" isn't exactly an all way red time—the signal timing term is the "red clearance interval" It is a predetermined amount of red time appended to the end of a phase before any conflicting traffic phases can begin. So it's not something designed specifically for this turning movement, as a red clearance follows every signal phase movement. But it is a designed to give ANY traffic still in the intersection a little extra time to clear—this can include permissive lefts waiting for a gap, but also other things like thru traffic or pedestrians.

(I've always found all-red phases to be rather interesting; I've done a little research on them before, and below is a summary of what I've found):

South Africa's traffic signal manual (from SANRAL, the primary road agency in South Africa) calls for a two-second all-red phase at the end of each through phase. This, in combination with the yellow interval, is called the "intergreen" period, which is defined as "the yellow signal interval plus the all-red interval. This is the safety period between the end of one green light signal and the start of another green light signal that gives right of way to a conflicting traffic stream." It's basically designed to clear cars that were waiting in the intersection.

(Before reading on, remember that South Africa drives on the left, so right-turn movements cross traffic)

Explained further... (the rhetoric used here is unlike any other official manual that I've ever read) (~6.12)

"The yellow period provides an indication that a red light signal will be displayed shortly, allowing the driver to stop if possible. The all-red (or clearance) period provides for a clearance time of the junction · Ideally, a yellow period should give sufficient warning to allow drivers to stop safely, even under adverse weather conditions. When such a driver is too near the junction to stop safely, sufficient time should be provided for the driver to enter the junction on yellow, and to clear the junction during the all-red period · The ideal requirements, however, can result in relatively long yellow periods. Drivers tend to abuse long yellow periods, using the yellow as effective green that can result in unsafe conditions. A more pragmatic approach is therefore recommended in which the yellow period is reduced and the all-red period correspondingly increased, while effectively providing the same intergreen period · The reduced yellow period may result in drivers entering a junction during the all-red period being prosecuted unfairly. It is therefore recommended that an enforcement tolerance should be provided and that law enforcement should only commence during the last one second of the all-red interval."

Later on (~6.13.5), the manual establishes (emphasis mine) that "the parameters required for establishing traffic signal timings are starting lost time, the number of vehicles that turn during the intergreen period and the saturation flow rate per lane". It goes on to say that "The number of vehicles Ii that can turn during the intergreen period (per cycle, per lane) is usually calculated as follows"...

"For right-turn movements, a value of Ii is usually taken as 1 vehicle per cycle at very narrow junctions, 2 vehicles per lane per cycle at average sized junctions, and 3 vehicles per lane per cycle at wide junctions."

Anyways, understanding the above, I emailed my traffic engineer friend (from Washington State) to ask him if he took into account vehicles turning during the yellow and red phases when determining the maximum traffic flow of a left turn signal. His explanation:

Quote
[S]ome American literature refers to the concept of using the intergreen/clearance time to clear turning movements as being a “sneaker”.  Many agencies assume 2 sneakers per cycle (per lane).  Here in the Northwest, my observations suggest that drivers are relatively timid in using clearance time for a permitted left, and so I assume only 1 sneaker per cycle.  Even that is more aggressive than many drivers, and this is also a function of how aggressively drivers push the yellow time on the opposing through movement.  My sense is the overuse of protected lefts and WSDOT’s history of using insanely long cycle lengths (WSDOT’s Design Manual used to call for optimizing cycle lengths using Webster’s formula, which can easily generate cycle lengths in excess of 300 seconds), has trained drivers here to test the limits of clearance times (yellow + all-red) rather than risk waiting a whole other cycle.  As such, the clearance time for through movements tends to get used almost exclusively by through movements on saturated approaches, leaving little to no time for sneakers.

To answer your question more completely, I do not explicitly allow for clearing sneakers in calculating clearance times for through phases.  In fact, I don’t even buy into use of the ITE formula for calculating clearance times (especially all-red times) as I believe that it only encourages drivers to adapt to longer clearance times.  However, I won’t shorten them, because there is a driver expectancy issue created by other agencies, and lack of conformance to that expectancy may imperil drivers unnecessarily.  That said, I will lengthen clearance times if there is a pattern of collisions that would suggest it would help reduce collision history.  As far as capacity calculations, I tend to use the default values (mostly because we don’t have the resources to collect that kind of data) for what the Highway Capacity Manual calls “lost time”, which attempts to capture the loss of capacity between signal phases and usually possesses an eerie resemblance to total clearance times.
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UCFKnights

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2017, 09:26:17 PM »

@Jet380 She was the only car turning left. No one in front of her or behind her. As I suspected, it appears to me it was a 'bad' ticket. But choosing to take it to court is still risky because we could end up leaving there with the ticket plus court costs. Right now she should have the option for adjudication to be withheld if the pays the $159 fine plus takes a 4 hour online driving course that will cost additional money. It feels like a shakedown! Not a good feeling!

Thanks for your input!
Its a shakedown for sure... but just so you are aware, in the areas where they frequently do it, they don't really desire to give you points in court as they don't want you to lose your license when they keep doing this to you and get more money from you... getting you to stop driving stops their ability to ticket you. Its very common for them to leave off the points even if you are adjudicated guilty (which you might not be).

The course also gets rid of points, but places a time restriction on when you can do it again and a lifetime restriction on how often you can do it.
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7/8

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Re: Left hand turn at sold green light; Florida
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2017, 10:56:31 PM »

Re: jakeroot's post.

I find it funny that the WSDOT engineer considers one car turning on intergreen "more aggressive than many drivers". Page 44 of Ontario's OTM Book 12 says that "two vehicles are considered to be able to clear the intersection on the amber", which seems to reasonably match my experience here. I wonder why Washington state drivers don't take more advantage of the left during intergreen? I could see that getting on my nerves if I ever get to drive out there :colorful:.

I personally think that South Africa's approach sounds realistic :thumbsup:
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