I need a traffic law reality check- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I need a traffic law reality check

    So on my way home yesterday I got into a discussion with a passing motorist who did something I think was not legal and scared the cr*p out of me. Now, however, I'm questioning whether what he did was legal or not, and therefore whether I should be on the lookout for this in the future.

    A picture of the intersection in question is below (assuming I can get graphics to work):


    I was stopped behind stoplight D and when it turned green, stoplights A, B and C were all red. I enetered the intersection and took the dogleg onto K street (past light B). Midway through the intersection, I noticed the car in the front of the line at stoplight C had started into the intersection, was on my tail and catching me fast. My immediate reaction on noticing him "running" the red light was to give him a sign to stop, and then a sign to back off my tail. (Both were polite signs!) As I turned onto K street, so did he. He proceeded to pull up next to me and tell me (among other things) that he had every right to make a free right there.

    I politely (amazing even myself with my politeness) told him that I didn't think so, as he was crossing active lanes of traffic (since it is possible to pull straight through that intersection from where I started and into a large apartment complex).

    So, what do you guys think? Is he entitled to a free right on red there, even though he has to proceed straight through the signalled intersection before he turns right? Do I need to be looking for that move more often?

    Any reality check you can give me would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    Driver is totally in the wrong. This is not a right turn on red, he ran the light and then made a right turn at a completly different intersection.
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  3. #3
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    What state is that in? Are there legal rights on red in that state? Did he go through a red light on C?

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure if I understand it correctly...
    So he ran the light on C and then turned on K street on a red?
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  5. #5
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    More importantly, did you stop at light B (assuming it was red)?

    All the traffic laws I recall (admittedly, not many) say that cars stop on any red light. All the time, no exceptions (unless there's someone in a blue uniform with a shiny shield shaped button and white gloves waving me through).

    (but seriously, why can't cyclists stop at red lights? I'm continually amazed when i see riders run the red and then ***** about car's doing stuff that irks them. for all intensive purposes, you're a car - act like one. you might even get a better workout with the starting and stopping. I know I do when I ride the road.)

  6. #6
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    Completely illegal on the motorists part
    Even if he was going to make a right (stop after red) he still has to yeild.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  7. #7
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    If I understand that system correctly, the straight through traffic is stopped at A and C clearing the dogleg for North & South bound vehicles entering at greens on B and D to do the doglegs. The motorist is claiming it is just one giant intersection and without a 'No right on Red' he is OK. If the dogleg was merely a road width of offset, it might be one intersection. It is actually two separate but coordinated intersections and he has no right turn to be taking. The North and two South Streets are not he same name, so seeems wishful thinking to call it one intersection.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    If I understand that system correctly, the straight through traffic is stopped at A and C clearing the dogleg for North & South bound vehicles entering at greens on B and D to do the doglegs. The motorist is claiming it is just one giant intersection and without a 'No right on Red' he is OK. If the dogleg was merely a road width of offset, it might be one intersection. It is actually two separate but coordinated intersections and he has no right turn to be taking. The North and two South Streets are not he same name, so seeems wishful thinking to call it one intersection.
    I also considered he was coming out from a parking-lot that is signaled but not on the map.

    Who knows... the op needs to chime in - either way, I see no reason for the motorist not to yield - right turn or not.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  9. #9
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    You had a green light, he had a red, no matter the nature of the situation, your green light trumps any right turn on red (if you are saying that the issue is he failed to yield and therrefor put you in danger by his proximity to you). If you were already in position in the lane and he just came up close behind you, it has nothing to do with the stop light, he's just a dangerous driver who doesn't know how to give a cyclist the proper distance.

  10. #10
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    My impression is that he ran light C going straight, or did he right on red from parking lot at light C?

    A straight on red at C - illegal
    a right on red from unseen lot at C - OK unless you were in intersection and in his way.

    Right on red at B seems OK for both, but of course you have to stop first to be legal.

    I'd like to see an expanded map and find you a less dangerous route! That intersection will be a risk no matter what.

  11. #11
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    Clarifications....

    Funny how you always think you're perfectly clear until you try to re-read what you wrote.

    All lights but mine (D) were red. Driver had pulled up and stopped at C (not from a parking lot or anything), then proceeded into the intersection behind me while his light was still red and mine was still green. We both then turned right onto K street. The light at C is to control only eastbound traffic on South Temple. The light at B is only to controll traffic leaving K street and entering South Temple or 8th east.

    @schiddy: Right on red is legal in Utah, but due to the nature of the intersection, I'm not sure this is considered a "right on red" situation. *That's* The gist of the question. What the motorist did as far as being on my tail and scaring the heck out of me is clearly wrong.

    @harpdog: The map, beyond what is shown, is pretty normal. This is *by far* the safest way home and is the first problem I've had in over a year and a half at that intersection. That's why it really caught me off guard and kinda freaked me out. Heck, the city (Salt Lake, UT) is trying to promote this as a bike-safe route and has been re-calibrating th e sensor loops to pick up bikes at the lights. Yay SLC mayor!!!!!!

    @ Justin_amadoe: I was a good boy. I knoe that light can be triggered by my bike, so I always stop and wait there. Beats getting killed by the psycho cross traffic. I agree with your sentiment though about behaving ourselves on the road. The only red lights I run are ones I *know* I cannot trigger from repeated experience and only those when I have stopped and no other cars are present to trigger the light for me. As I see it, running 'em is my only reasonable option then.

    Does that clear everything up, or did I just make it worse???

  12. #12
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    Does that clear everything up, or did I just make it worse???
    For me... it made it worse. I have no idea what the heck is going on.


  13. #13
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    I don't think there is any question. The driver was smoking crack.

  14. #14
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    re-draw your picture and re-submit
    C-
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    re-draw your picture and re-submit
    C-

    OK, this should clear it right up. I'm the box, and the car in question is the dark circle. Traffic lights E, T, and F are flashing red. The rest are all green....

    In all seriousness, thanks to all of you for the feedback. It sounds like my original gut reaction was pretty much on and I shouldn't feel bad for giving the guy some polite "feedback" on his driving.

    Ride safe out there!
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  16. #16
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    Honestly... ahh I give up

  17. #17
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    The opening post and graphic seemed clear enough to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ubernerd
    Is he entitled to a free right on red there, even though he has to proceed straight through the signalled intersection before he turns right? NO

    Do I need to be looking for that move more often? YES

  18. #18
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    Unless that map is on a scale of 10 feet or something, it seems completely illegal to run the red light, past another street and then make a right.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubernerd
    Funny how you always think you're perfectly clear until you try to re-read what you wrote.

    All lights but mine (D) were red. Driver had pulled up and stopped at C (not from a parking lot or anything), then proceeded into the intersection behind me while his light was still red and mine was still green. We both then turned right onto K street. The light at C is to control only eastbound traffic on South Temple. The light at B is only to controll traffic leaving K street and entering South Temple or 8th east.

    @schiddy: Right on red is legal in Utah, but due to the nature of the intersection, I'm not sure this is considered a "right on red" situation. *That's* The gist of the question. What the motorist did as far as being on my tail and scaring the heck out of me is clearly wrong.

    @harpdog: The map, beyond what is shown, is pretty normal. This is *by far* the safest way home and is the first problem I've had in over a year and a half at that intersection. That's why it really caught me off guard and kinda freaked me out. Heck, the city (Salt Lake, UT) is trying to promote this as a bike-safe route and has been re-calibrating th e sensor loops to pick up bikes at the lights. Yay SLC mayor!!!!!!

    @ Justin_amadoe: I was a good boy. I knoe that light can be triggered by my bike, so I always stop and wait there. Beats getting killed by the psycho cross traffic. I agree with your sentiment though about behaving ourselves on the road. The only red lights I run are ones I *know* I cannot trigger from repeated experience and only those when I have stopped and no other cars are present to trigger the light for me. As I see it, running 'em is my only reasonable option then.

    Does that clear everything up, or did I just make it worse???
    Going straight through an intersection on red is illegal. Period.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Going straight through an intersection on red is illegal. Period.

    Well after a stop on a flashing red is usually okey dokey.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostQuick
    The opening post and graphic seemed clear enough to me.
    I think the post was sufficiently clear, but the driver's logic was pretty fuzzy.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubernerd
    I was a good boy. ... I agree with your sentiment though about behaving ourselves on the road. The only red lights I run are ones I *know* I cannot trigger from repeated experience and only those when I have stopped and no other cars are present to trigger the light for me. As I see it, running 'em is my only reasonable option then.
    On your concern of the driver is valid. See? You don't need vehicular homicideal maniacs, the supposedly 'good' drivers are more than enough to deal with.

    Second diagram's a hoot. Looks like the execution of the more logical coaches scheme by my school's Junior Varsity football team, back in the day.

    The cars here run stop signs or are prepared to go, rather than stop, and I either get the over cautious never take the right of way or the crazed running of the stop sign to get ahead of the bike, so I play it as it comes and stop or run the intersection whichever keeps me out of harms way. Red lights I stop for in the lane. No hooks for me! They have to run right over my largish butt. In Indiana, a vehicle operator may proceed after stopping at a malfunctioning traffic signal. If I don't trigger it, then it is malfunctioning. Wait for clear both ways and go unless a car behind or across the intersection is imminent and will switch the light.

  23. #23
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    Did John Madden help with that 2nd chart?

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