Ask The Driving School Instructor: Left Turn On Green
October 13, 2014
Question: I’m confused by the “left turn yield on green”. Who is supposed to turn first when the light turns green?
Answer: I can see how this could be a little confusing for a new driver. This sign is most often posted where there is a combination of both a left turn arrow and a standard traffic light as in the photo above. It allows traffic to turn during those periods when the green turn arrow isn’t working.
During normal or low traffic periods, the green left turn arrow won’t used at all. However, during times of heavier traffic, such as rush hours, the left turn arrow will be used along with the regular green light. The turn arrow will allow traffic in the left turn lanes to turn left. When the turn arrow turns red, the standard, round green light will light up allowing traffic in the right lanes to proceed. The sign, “left turn yield on green,” means that traffic in the left turn lane is allowed to turn but only if the oncoming lane is free of traffic.
If you’re in the left turn lane facing a standard, round green light with the “left turn yield on green” sign posted, you must wait or “yield” until the opposite lane is clear or there is a wide enough gap in the oncoming traffic to give you enough clear space to make a turn. If the left turn arrow isn’t working and traffic is heavy in the other lane, you may have to wait through the red light until the next green light before traffic is light enough to allow you enough clear space to turn left.