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Center Turn Lane Rules Explained: How to Use Them to Make Safe Left Turns

Center Turn Lane Rules Explained: How to Use Them to Make Safe Left Turns

by Zutobi · Updated Dec 23, 2020

What Are Center Turn Lanes?

Center left-turn lanes are marked on both sides by painted yellow lines. The outer lines are painted solid and the inner lines are broken. Center left-turn lanes are located in the middle of two-way streets to help vehicles safely turn left from both directions (or make U-turns if permitted) without blocking other traffic.

Center Left Turn Lane Rules

Remember these rules for driving in center turn lanes:

  • If a road has a center turn lane and you intend to turn left, use the turn lane
  • Don’t drive in a center turn lane for long distances. 
  • Do not use the center turn lane to pass other vehicles.
Turning from the center left turn lane
When in the turn lane, stay within the lines so you don’t block other traffic

Additionally, when turning using a center turn lane, you should wait in the turn lane and:

  • Check blind spots
  • Look for oncoming traffic in the left lane
  • Wait for a safe gap in traffic
  • Watch out for traffic pulling onto the main road from side streets
  • Be aware of vehicles traveling in the opposite direction as they are allowed to enter the turn lane to make a turn
When to turn safely from center left turn lanes
If a road has a center left turn lane and you intend to turn left, use the turn lane

If needed, you can use the center turn lane when turning left onto the main road from a driveway or side street. Enter the center turn lane once safe and wait there until you can safely enter the traffic flow again.

Using the main road to turn into a center left turn lane
The green car is using the center turn lane to enter the main road

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