Here’s a question from a reader:

Always wondered what the rule is when you’re on Petaluma Hill Rd driving toward the Santa Rosa mall.  At the intersection with Santa Rosa Ave., there are two right-turn lanes.  What is the rule on making a right turn onto Santa Rosa Ave. on a red light.  I can see making a right from the rightmost lane, but what about the other lane. Do you need to wait for the green light?  W.

The answer, after consulting with Santa Rosa police and the DMV handbook, is you don’t have to wait for the green. Drivers in either turn lane can turn right when safe on a red but must stay in the corresponding lane on Santa Rosa Avenue.


Another question:

I am driving down the road and the car in front of me stops in the middle of the lane to let a car from a side street enter our lane of traffic. Is this legal to stop in the middle of the road with traffic behind you to be polite?

The answer, after consulting with local police, is it depends on the situation. For example, if traffic is slowing for a red light, you can slow or stop to let in another car if it can be done safely without impeding traffic behind you. But if traffic is humming along at 35 mph and you stop to let someone in and drivers behind slam on their brakes to avoid you, then you’re risking a ticket if not serious injury. Another danger is if there are two lanes going your direction. You might be able to safely stop to let someone in but if that driver pulls into the lane next to you and oncoming traffic doesn’t see him/her until it’s too late …


If you have a question for the Road Warrior, please email it to jim.fremgen@pressdemocrat.com.


Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter via @PDRoadWarrior



Be Sociable, Share!



  1. Robert C

    Right turn on red from the right hand lane is legal after a stop unless red right signal arrow or “no turn on red” sign
    Right turn on red from the second from right (turn) lane is NOT allowed unless BOTH roads are “one way” (divided roads are one-way) or a sign allows it…

    March 25th, 2012 12:56 pm

  2. daryl

    “The white zone, is for loading and unloading passangers only”

    March 25th, 2012 2:34 pm

  3. Tony

    What about the intersection @ County Center Drive & Steele Ln? There are 3 lanes to make a right turn into when traveling southbound on County Ctr. Vehicles in both turn lanes always have near misses when they compete for the middle lane of Steele heading west.

    March 26th, 2012 1:57 pm

  4. Cynthe Brush

    This driving question has been puzzling me for several years. I erroneously thought right turns on a red light were ONLY allowed for the far right lane.

    Have muttered too many times at those other drivers turning right from the second right turn lane. Now I know. Thanks!

    March 28th, 2012 9:49 am

  5. Alicia Matta

    I recently received a ticket via red light camera. If there are two right turn lanes, can both lanes turn while the light is red?

    May 10th, 2012 9:12 pm

Submit Your Comments


Required, will not be published