Briefing Room: Don’t turn right from the middle traffic lane

It’s dangerous and illegal

Hi Seal Beach,

This week we received a question about vehicles turning right into the Leisure World Main Gate from the middle traffic lane of southbound Seal Beach Boulevard.  Apparently, when traffic backs up in the right hand lane, drivers who do not want to wait their turn will turn right from the middle lane and cut the line of cars waiting to enter Leisure World.

Not only is this dangerous, but it is also illegal.

• California Vehicle Code §22100 states:

“(a) Right Turns. Both the approach for a right-hand turn and a right-hand turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except:

“(3) Upon a highway having an additional lane or lanes marked for a right turn by appropriate signs or markings, the driver of a vehicle may turn right from any lane designated and marked for that turning movement.”

• California Vehicle Code §22107 states:

“No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.”

Considering that the middle lane of southbound Seal Beach Boulevard is not marked as a turn lane with a painted turn arrow or sign, anyone who turns right from the middle lane is in violation of the Vehicle Code.

Illegal turns like this are dangerous.

Other drivers anticipate movements based on lane designations. A vehicle turning right from a non-designated lane can catch other drivers off guard, reducing their reaction time to avoid a collision.  Such maneuvers can disrupt the flow of traffic, leading to sudden stops, swerves, and potential rear-end collisions, especially in high-speed or congested conditions.

There’s a higher risk of side-impact collisions with vehicles in the correct lane to make the turn, as well as potential conflicts with pedestrians or cyclists who may not anticipate a vehicle turning from an unexpected position.

I know nobody likes to wait in line, but the few extra moments it takes to make your turn into Leisure World, or other driveway, makes our roadways that much safer.  Please drive courteously and safely.

Keep your questions coming Seal Beach.  Email us at today.