Can You Get a Traffic Ticket Doing This Maneuver in WA State?
Have you noticed that when people make a left turn they drive into the lane over instead of staying in the lane they were actually turning into?
Years ago, I got a nasty big, fat ticket for this exact sort of "improper lane change". To this day, I am still livid about it.
TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A...LEFT
WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS...Years ago during an Apple Blossom Fest in Wenatchee, I was asked to be the designated driver for an SUV-full of about 8 of my friends. I turned left into one of those three-lane One-Way intersections, but I didn't stay in the far left lane as I was turning. Instead, I drove onto the middle lane.
After I turned into the middle lane, our car full of friends saw a lady sitting at a bus stop eating Cheetos, which was so random and funny. I yelled something silly at her out of my driver's window, and then out of nowhere two state troopers on motorcycles immediately turned on their lights and pulled me over.
I thought I was getting a ticket for yelling at pedestrians but they told me that I had made an illegal lane change and gave me a big, fat $125 ticket! YIKES!
In my defense, I passed the written driver's license test in Tennessee where I was born and raised, but I'm pretty positive that one-way driving protocol was not included in my driver's portion of the test. I couldn't believe I was given a ticket of such nature in the first place, however, my driving infraction had happened during the Apple Blossom Fest, so state troopers were out doing extra patrols looking to give anybody and everybody a ticket. Obviously, they knew the law a lot better than me so I couldn't challenge the ticket in traffic court.
The Washington state R.C.W. states that "The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left shall approach the turn in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle." (RCW 46.61.290)
I held in my hand (via my cell phone) that it was okay that the "driver of any vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.
"The driver of any vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic." - RCW 46.61.295
Be careful driving out there!