U-turn

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A diagram showing the path of a driver performing a U-turn on a normal two-way road.

A U-turn in driving refers to performing a 180° rotation to reverse the direction of travel. It is called a "U-turn" because the maneuver looks like the letter U. In some areas, the maneuver is illegal, while in others, it is treated as a more ordinary turn, merely extended. In still other areas, lanes are occasionally marked "U-turn permitted" or even "U-turn only."

Occasionally, on a divided highway, special U-turn ramps exist to allow traffic to make a U-turn, though often their use is restricted to emergency and police vehicles only.

In the United States, U-turn regulations vary by state: in Indiana U-turns are allowed as long as the driver follows all of the precautions normally ascribed to making a left turn (yielding right-of-way, etc.). Many places, including Texas and Georgia, have specially designed U-turn lanes (referred to as Texas U-turn lanes). In Michigan, U-turns are required for many left turns to and from divided highways, as part of the Michigan left maneuver.

Prohibited U-turns[edit]

U-turns are often prohibited for various reasons. Sometimes a sign indicates the legality of U-turns. However, traffic regulations in many jurisdictions specifically prohibit certain types of U-turns. Laws vary by jurisdiction as to when a U-turn may or may not be legal. Examples of jurisdictions with codified U-turn prohibitions include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the U.S. states of Colorado[1] [2] and Oregon.[3] In Alberta, U-turns are prohibited in certain circumstances, for example (ref. Alberta Regulation 304/2002, Division 7):

  • At the crest of a hill or on a curve unless the driver can see at least 150 m ahead
  • Anywhere a sign prohibits a U-turn
  • In urban areas between intersections
  • At alleys and driveways
  • At an intersection controlled by a traffic signal (unless signage or signals specifically allow this maneuver)
  • By a school bus on an undivided highway or on a divided highway where the length of the bus is longer than the width of the median between the two carriageways

Taiwan[edit]

In Taiwan, Article 49 of the Act Governing the Punishment of Violation of Road traffic Regulations (zh:道路交通管理處罰條例) administratively fines a motorist 600 to 1800 new Taiwan dollars for any of the following unlawful U-turn:

  1. Making a U-turn on a curve, a slope, a narrow road, a narrow bridge, or a tunnel.
  2. Making a U-turn at a road segment signed No U-turn or painted double solid yellow or white lines or no-overtaking lines.
  3. Making a U-turn at a road segment prohibiting left turn.
  4. Not surrounding a roundabout to make a U-turn in such an intersection.
  5. Before making a U-turn, failing to stop or signal left turn as required, or making a U-turn without paying attention to vehicles or pedestrians passing by.
Taiwanese No U-turn sign

In addition, a Taiwanese driver license is demerited one point for an unlawful U-turn pursuant to Article 63 of the same Act unless the license has been suspended or revoked. Furthermore, the same Act makes a U-turn on a railway level crossing a violation for drivers of motorized and non-motorized vehicles:

  • Article 54: A driver of a motor vehicle shall be administratively fined 6000 to 12000 new Taiwan dollars for making a U-turn on a railway level crossing. Should an accident occur, the driver license shall also be revoked, which is for life pursuant to Article 67; this lifetime revocation used to be absolute, but the amendment of the law proclaimed on 28 December 2005 and effective on 1 July 2006 has allowed a possible waiver after serving at least six years of the revocation.
  • Article 75: A driver of a non-motorized vehicle (e.g. a bicycle) shall be administratively fined 1200 to 2400 New Taiwan dollars for making a U-turn on a railway level crossing.

Philippines[edit]

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has blamed the huge number of U-turn slots as well as the improper position of pedestrian lanes especially along Commonwealth Avenue as among the road hazards. Secretary Rogelio Singson said based on a study conducted by road safety and traffic experts under the international road assessment program, U-turn slots are good “for a certain traffic volume” but not effective in all situations.

The construction of the U-turn slots started during the term of Bayani Fernando as part of the agency’s measures to improve the flow of traffic.

Fernando even constructed an elevated U-turn slot, the first in the country, along C-5 Road despite the opposition from several sectors.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Page 22
  2. ^ [Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1010 Sections 42-4-901 and 42-4-902]
  3. ^ Section 811.365 of Oregon Driver's Manual