Right on Red

Ever wonder why there are roads where cars turn right against a red light and there are places where cars don’t? Have you ever been confused when and when not to turn right against a red light? Let us end the confusion once and for all and discuss this simple traffic rule. Shall we begin?

red light

First things first, you must know what the three lights of a stoplight mean. You must, at all costs, obey the lights – especially taking caution during a yellow light. When it comes to turning right on a red light, the first and most important step is to completely stop behind the limit line, a pedestrian lane, or the intersection line. Just because you can, doesn’t mean pedestrians and oncoming traffic on green light should give way for you. Turn with extreme caution as you don’t have the right of way.

Lane markings

One more important thing, you must make sure you’re in the proper lane. Vehicles on the inner lane are not allowed to turn right. If you wish to turn right and you’re in the inner lane, you must slowly and carefully make your way to the outer lane before approaching the intersection. In preparation to turn right, flick on your turn indicator ideally a hundred feet to where you’re making the turn.

Red arrow light

You may turn on a solid red light but, unfortunately, you may not against a red arrow stoplight pointing to the right. For you not to commit a beating-the-red-light violation, remember to check carefully for red arrow lights or signs telling not to turn right on red before you make the turn.

No right turn on red signal

The idea is simple, if there are no signboards that prohibit turning right during a red light and it’s a solid red light, you may turn right cautiously. If you see a sign with a right arrow, a red circle around it, and says “on red” below it, you obviously have to wait for the stoplight to turn green. In the Philippines, signs are often made up entirely of words saying “No right turn on red signal.”

Sometimes, signs are obstructed from sight so coming to a full stop may help you inspect the surroundings. These signs are usually posted a few meters before the right turn and are commonly attached on poles.

signal light

Before you make any turn, on a red light or not, always check your side mirrors and rearview mirror. Look out for motorcycles, electric bicycles, cyclists, or electric scooters on your right before you step on the gas. Again, remember you don’t have the right of way if you’re turning right against a red light so don’t cut perpendicular traffic or honk at pedestrians crossing the road. We see a lot of drivers do this on the road and they aren’t just irritating, they also put everyone around them at risk.

You must yield for traffic. Wait for a few moments to make the turn after the vehicle in front of you, as cars approaching from your left are not obliged to stop for you. Don’t make the turn if the view to your left is obstructed by a large vehicle like a truck. It’s always safe to observe defensive driving than be sorry in the end. As we keep on saying, drive safe, everyone.

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