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If someone didn't see the right turn slip lane in time, could they make a right turn at the intersection?

I'd like to know whether this is legal in California.

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  • Nice clarifying illustration. Very helpful. – ohwilleke Jan 19 '17 at 3:42
  • I'd like to know if that is legal in Texas too. – mark b Jan 24 '17 at 20:51
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Well, I decided to look into this myself, and here's what I found:

California Vehicle Code 22100a:

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:

(1) Upon a highway having three marked lanes for traffic moving in one direction that terminates at an intersecting highway accommodating traffic in both directions, the driver of a vehicle in the middle lane may turn right into any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered.

(2) If a right-hand turn is made from a one-way highway at an intersection, a driver shall approach the turn as provided in this subdivision and shall complete the turn in any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered.

(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.

In this scenario,

(1) doesn't apply because it's not a one-way street ending at a T intersection.

(2) also doesn't apply because it's not a one-way street.

(3) says that to turn right from a lane that is not closest to the right curb, there must be signs or markings. In this case, there are no signs or markings, meaning that it is illegal to turn from the inner lane.

  • Where "inner" is the one with the red car. – user6726 Mar 3 '17 at 2:12
  • Given the evidence your conclusion seems ambiguous. Once a car has passed the slip lane, and is blocked from entering it by a curb (as depicted in the diagram in the question), the remaining right hand lane is "as close as practicable to the right-hand curb." – feetwet Mar 3 '17 at 3:14

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