When it’s OK to make a U-turn

Today’s blog topic, the do’s and don’t of making U-turns, comes courtesy of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Driver Handbook. The definition of a U-turn is the act of turning around on a street to go back to where you had come. To make a U-turn, turn on your signal and maneuver your vehicle into the appropriate left turn lane. It is OK to make a U-turn:
  • At an intersection in which you have a green light or green arrow, unless a “No U­-turn” sign is posted.
  • In a residential district if there aren’t any approaching vehicles within 200-feet, as well as when a traffic sign or signal protects you from approaching vehicles.
  • Across a double yellow line, as long as it’s legal and safe.
  • On a divided highway, where an opening is present in the divider.
U-turns are prohibited:
  • If a “No U-Turn” sign is posted.
  • On a one-way street.
  • When oncoming traffic may hit you.
  • On a divided highway, if it means crossing a dividing section, curb, strip of land, or two sets of double yellow lines.
  • In locations where a curve, hill, rain, fog or some other reason prevents you from clearly seeing 200-feet in each direction.
  • In front of a fire station.
  • In business districts, as well as areas where there are churches, apartments, multiple dwelling houses, clubs, and public buildings, except schools. Turn only at an intersection or where openings are provided for turns.
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