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Is It Legal To Turn Left on Red in Maryland?

Is it legal to turn left on red in Maryland?

Driving laws can vary from state to state, and understanding them is crucial for staying safe and avoiding unnecessary fines or penalties. One question that often arises is whether it’s legal to turn left on red in Maryland.

In this article, we’ll delve into Maryland’s traffic laws to clarify this commonly misunderstood issue.

Left Turns on Red Lights

In most states, making a right turn on a red light after a complete stop is legal unless otherwise indicated by signage.

However, the rules regarding left turns on red lights are typically more restrictive. Maryland follows this pattern, with specific regulations governing left turns on red lights.

Maryland Laws Surrounding Making a Left Turn

According to Maryland traffic laws, it is illegal to make a left turn on a red light except in certain circumstances. Specifically, drivers are permitted to make a left turn on red only when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street.

This means that if you’re facing a red light at an intersection and wish to turn left, you must wait for the light to turn green unless both streets involved are one-way streets.

Exceptions and Special Cases

While the general rule prohibits left turns on red lights, there are a few exceptions and special cases to be aware of. For instance, some intersections may have signs or signals indicating that left turns on red are allowed.

In such cases, MD Transportation Code § 21-402 states that driversshall yield the right-of-way to any other vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction” when making a left turn at an intersection, driveway, alley, or private road. Another Maryland driving law says, “Such vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left or making a U-turn movement, shall yield the right-of-way to:

(a) Pedestrians lawfully within an associated crosswalk and

(b) Other vehicles lawfully within the intersection.”

Safety Considerations

Even when permitted by law, making a left turn on a red light can be risky and should be approached with caution. Pedestrians may not expect a vehicle to be turning left on a red light and could inadvertently step into the crosswalk.

Other drivers may also misjudge the situation and proceed through the intersection without realizing your intention to turn left, leading to a car accident with serious injuries. Therefore, it’s essential to exercise vigilance and always prioritize safety when considering a left turn on a red light.

Penalties for Violating Left Turn Laws

Violating Maryland’s laws regarding left turns on red lights can result in significant penalties, including a $90 fine and two points if the violation doesn’t cause an accident. If the violation contributes to a crash, the fine increases to $130 and three points.

Depending on the circumstances, drivers may face fines, points on their driving record, or even court appearances. Causing an accident while making an illegal left turn on red could lead to more severe consequences, as well, including liability for damages or injuries.

Making left turns on red lights is generally unsafe and illegal in most places, including Maryland. It poses risks to pedestrians and other drivers who may not anticipate your movement. It’s crucial to follow traffic laws to prevent accidents and ensure everyone’s safety on the road.

Still, there are specific exceptions to this rule. Drivers may only make a left turn on red when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street, and even then, caution must be exercised. ‘

Where To Turn if You Were Involved in a Left-Turn Accident in Lanham, MD

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with Maryland traffic laws and always prioritize safety when behind the wheel.

By understanding and adhering to the rules of the road, you can help ensure your safety and that of others while driving in Maryland.

Were you involved in a crash in or around Lanham because a motorist didn’t adhere to Maryland left turn laws? If so, an experienced car crash attorney is ready to help. Contact GDH Law for a free consultation.

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