How to make a Left Turn or U-turn at the Intersection

Once you are at the intersection, you will be dealing with different traffic scenarios:

making left turn intersection

One Left Turn Lane
At some intersections, you can only make a left turn from the very left lane.  These type of intersections do not have a sign showing multiple left turn arrows, do not provide lanes with white dash marking to allow multiple left lanes, and allow you to make a left turn to any of the open lanes with the correct flow of traffic.

Multiple Left Turn Lanes
At some intersections, there are options for making left turns from multiple left turn lanes. These type of intersections have signs showing multiple left turn arrows and are only available on the intersections with the red and green arrow signal lights.

When you make a left turn from any of the multiple left turn lanes, you will need to stay in your lane using white dash lines as your guide of staying in your lane.

Red Arrow Signal Light
You must STOP until the light turns green.

Green Arrow Signal Light (called Protected Left Turn)
You can go ahead and make a left turn, but you must still YIELD to vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles that are on your way.

At some intersections, there are options for making left turns from multiple left turn lanes.  In those intersections, there are signs showing multiple left turn arrows.  When you make a left turn from any of the multiple left turn lanes, you will need to stay in your lane using white dash lines as your guide of staying in your lane.

Standard Red Light
You must STOP and wait until the light turns green.

Standard Green Light (called Unprotected Left Turn)
If there is not a “Green Arrow” traffic signal and there is a LEFT TURN YIELD ON GREEN sign, you need to move forward safely to the middle of the intersection and wait until oncoming traffic is fully clear, and it is safe for you to turn left before making the turn.

Yellow Light (called Unprotected Left Turn on Yellow)
If there is a LEFT TURN YIELD ON GREEN sign, and you are already in the middle of the intersection waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, you need to make sure that all oncoming traffic has stopped and it is safe to make a left turn, then make a left turn.

If you have not entered the intersection yet, you should not enter the intersection and wait until the next time the light turns green, unless you are 100% sure that there is no oncoming traffic and you can safely make the left turn before the light turns red.

Making a U-turn.
If you are making a U-turn, follow all of the above traffic rules that apply to making a left turn with the following additional rules and/or exceptions:

  • You are not permitted to make a U-turn on the intersections where the NO U-TURN sign exists.
  • You can only make a U-turn from the very left lane.
  • You need to watch out for vehicles that are making a right turn into the same lane into which you are turning.
  • Never make a U-turn on a one-way street.