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Left turn on red, is it legal in India?

Pages : 12
#1 19-Dec, 2008 04:00 PM
Abhijit Dutta
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Joined Date: 04 Sep 2008
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 51
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Hi friends,

Today I was faced with a peculiar situation. I was at a traffic signal at the leftmost lane as I was supposed to turn left at the intersection. I had the left turn indicator of my car on. 4-5 vehicles were behind me. The traffic light was at red. To my surprise, I heard the drivers of the vehicles behind me were repeatedly honking at me. When I saw in the rear view mirror, I could feel they were abusing me and signaling me with the hand to go ahead with the left turn.

There were no vehicles in sight going to the road where I was supposed to go. Also there were no traffic police around. So I went ahead with the turn with extreme caution. I could see that the people behind also followed me. The traffic light was still red. Now I am confused. When I used to drive in the US, we were allowed to make a right turn on red unless otherwise specified (sign mentioned 'No turn on red'). Being in a city where people often give a damn to traffic rules making the roads unsafe for both drivers and pedestrians, I have a question. Did I do the right thing? Is it legal in traffic law to make a free left turn when it is safe, even on red traffic light?

Thanks for your response.



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#2 19-Dec, 2008 04:20 PM
Rohit
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Joined Date: 10 Nov 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4347
Likes: 205

Well, it so happens here that people have no patience...and many usually know when the signal's about to go green (by observing traffic in other lanes/directions)...so they honk to get you to move. It is legal if the signal is green. However, there are signals where there is no left-turn signal (its missing altogether - neither "no left" nor "left go/no go") and at such places I guess you need not wait for the signal to turn green - best to watch other drivers.




S = k.I^2, where S is the amount of stupidity a species possesses, I is the intelligence the species has and k is the universal constant of stupidity.
Last Updated: 19-Dec, 2008 04:23 PM, by rohit.b.d.
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#3 19-Dec, 2008 04:28 PM
Bhushan
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Joined Date: 27 Apr 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 629
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Abhijit,

Welcome to CarWale!

I am sure it would have been a difficult time when you decided to take the left turn even when the lights were red. I guess many of us go through similar situation everyday. I think in cities the situation is little more confusing. I stay in Bangalore where many signals have:

  • Signboard showing 'Free left'
  • Signboard showing 'No Free left'
  • No signboard at all

Many a times the signals are decent enough to have separate 'Go Left' indicator wherever possible. Most of the times at smaller junctions even this is not there. So the complete set of combinations makes it very difficult.

I have used one easy method. Taking left turn is fine, when traffic from the left side is having the green signal and also when we have green. Otherwise i do not take a left turn.

Bhushan



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#4 19-Dec, 2008 04:34 PM
Ami
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Joined Date: 12 Sep 2008
Location: Thrissur
Posts: 4696
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Or....

It could have been a free left which you might not have seen.

Bhushan: Didn't see your post while posting.



Last Updated: 19-Dec, 2008 04:35 PM, by Ami
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#5 19-Dec, 2008 11:02 PM
Binoy
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Joined Date: 23 Apr 2008
Location: Kochi
Posts: 6683
Likes: 21

-proceeding on a 'red' is illegal and that is all there should be to it-i guess.



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#6 20-Dec, 2008 12:42 AM
Pankaj Prasad
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Joined Date: 29 Sep 2007
Location: Vadodara
Posts: 13624
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Well, to my understand, we can turn left even when a red signal is there - unless left turn is specifically restricted.

However, I'll try & gather some concrete info on this.




I'm basically from Bihar; relocated here in Gujarat for years, and am a banker by profession. I have owned Enfield Bullet 350CC for 24 years (1985-2009); Tata Indica Turbo for 6 years (2006-2012); Tata Manza Elan Quadrajet since 2012 to present; and Tata Hexa XT since Oct 2018.
Last Updated: 20-Dec, 2008 12:44 AM, by Pankaj.Prasad
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#7 20-Dec, 2008 01:05 AM
Karan
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Joined Date: 25 Jan 2007
Location: Noida
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well...try n c d traffic light grid.... its sumthin like O O OO the top one is red...den amber..n den ofcourse. d bottom one is green n d bottom rite is right-green. in this case a left turn wud b free..... however....if the grid is like this-- O O OOO now this means ders an additional box...which is left-green.....which means the ppl takin a left turn wil hav to wiat for a green signal..... this is how u cud get a fair idea ..(atleast i New Delhi..)... Else in sum particular places..der is a markin also....which says "LEft TUrn Not free". cheers

 

 

 

p.s--- sorry after  sending this post ... i can c ...those O's which i hav made wont make sense...  

okay...so draw an  "L"   wid the 1st set of O's which i hav mentioned.....n wid the 2nd set of O's draw a "J" (like an 'L' which which has fis feet on the other side)

draw them on a piece of paper n read the post above,again.

 

cheers



Last Updated: 20-Dec, 2008 01:09 AM, by karan.gambhir
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#8 20-Dec, 2008 01:13 AM
Vinit
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Joined Date: 30 Nov 2008
Location: Bhopal
Posts: 19
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i subscribe to the view point of pankaj.

in india we are having right hand drive, means we hav to overtake frm right only. so when u want to turn left at signal, there is no violation of rules(unless specific restriction is imposed).



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#9 20-Dec, 2008 01:38 AM
Karan
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Joined Date: 25 Jan 2007
Location: Noida
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ya bt at many times u dnt really hav it notified!...so we shud kno ways how to make sure for the same.....



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#10 23-Dec, 2008 03:13 PM
Abhijit Dutta
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Joined Date: 04 Sep 2008
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 51
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Posted by Karan Gambhir

well...try n c d traffic light grid.... its sumthin like O O OO the top one is red...den amber..n den ofcourse. d bottom one is green n d bottom rite is right-green. in this case a left turn wud b free..... however....if the grid is like this-- O O OOO now this means ders an additional box...which is left-green.....which means the ppl takin a left turn wil hav to wiat for a green signal..... this is how u cud get a fair idea ..(atleast i New Delhi..)... Else in sum particular places..der is a markin also....which says "LEft TUrn Not free". cheers

 

 

 

p.s--- sorry after  sending this post ... i can c ...those O's which i hav made wont make sense...  

okay...so draw an  "L"   wid the 1st set of O's which i hav mentioned.....n wid the 2nd set of O's draw a "J" (like an 'L' which which has fis feet on the other side)

draw them on a piece of paper n read the post above,again.

 

cheers

Thanks everyone for your replies. From now on I will be more careful and not listen to the rogue motorists.

Anyway, that signal had an additional light which would blink the left arrow when the same is open. So I think at that point, you can only turn left on green.



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