Yes, 'No Right Turn On Red' means it


This week, readers want to know whether you can turn right when a sign says you can't, how you can squelch your fears while being pulled over by an unmarked police vehicle, and how fast you can drive on Hualapai Way.

Ed Graveline asks what a driver is supposed to do when two lanes both turn right onto a freeway and a sign that hangs from the traffic light seemingly over the left lane (that is turning right) says, "No Right Turn On Red." The right-hand lane appears to have no sign. "What are we supposed to do if we are in the right lane and it is a red light? I have been honked at when I did not go right on red. It is confusing," he says.

Ed is asking specifically about the southbound onramp to U.S. Highway 95 approaching from the east on Ann Road. But you can find this dilemma at several valley freeway entrances -- one that pops into my head is the entrance to northbound Interstate 15 from westbound Tropicana Avenue.

The new head of the Metropolitan Police Department's traffic bureau, Capt. Richard Collins, said the answer is the "No Right Turn On Red" sign applies to all lanes heading that direction.

"These were put into place due to the high volume of traffic where right turns were causing many accidents at those high-volume intersections, thereby reducing the traffic flow," he said.

Even though the answer -- which is no, you can't turn right on red -- seems fairly obvious, I understand where Ed is coming from. Impatient drivers put a lot of pressure on law-abiding citizens traversing our highways and byways.

Someone leaning on their horn might push a driver over the edge in this situation; but as my father would often ask me while growing up, "If your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you follow them?"

So my advice would be to travel in the left of the two right-turn lanes and you should not have to worry about the horn honking behind you.

Lindsey has noticed a number of unmarked law enforcement vehicles pulling speeders over on U.S. Highway 95. But she fears predators or police impersonators might use fake lights and uniforms to pull over their victims. She wants to know how to handle the situation.

Capt. Collins chimed in to help answer this question. He said:

• A law enforcement vehicle pulling motorists over will have red lights and a siren blaring or red and blue lights and a siren blaring.

• When motorists are not sure that the vehicle pulling them over is a real law enforcement agent, they should try to pull over into a well-lit location or where others can see what is going on.

• Motorists might consider calling someone on their cell phone and telling the officer that they have a friend on the line who is aware they are being stopped, or call 911 to confirm the agency is truly stopping her.

• Motorist should roll down the window only as far as necessary to hear what the officer is asking and to be able to hand over paperwork.

• Motorists can ask the officer to request that a marked unit come to the scene.

• Motorists should explain their concerns to the officer.

And now to revisit a previous question:

A while back, I was asked about the speed limit on Hualapai Way, from Patrick Lane to Tropicana. It seems the speed limit mysteriously dropped from 35 mph to 25 mph.

A number of conspiracy theories soon followed. Folks blamed the construction of the new Bishop Gorman High School campus on Hualapai. Another theory had authorities creating a speed trap -- like Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane from "The Dukes of Hazard."

At first the folks at the Clark County public works department weren't sure why the speed limit changed but eventually learned the county's traffic management group was doing a study to determine the appropriate speed limit.

Well, I got some good news. As a result of the county's study, "the current 25-mph speed limit is not sufficient for the driving conditions associated with this section of Hualapai," spokesman Bobby Shelton said.

The speed limit will be bumped up to 35 mph, and the new signs should be in place within the next few days, Shelton said.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2904.

 

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