Left turners vs. right turners at yield sign

The in basket: At a recent dinner gathering of Olympic Thunder, the female motorcyclist club, a member asked me about right of way rules where a yield sign faces right turners who meet left turners coming the other way.

Standing driving rules require left-turners to yield to just about any other movement, but does the yield sign for right turners countermand that? The specific locations mentioned both are on Highway 308 linking Bangor and Keyport, at Highway 3 northbound and Central Valley Road southbound.

I told the group the answer is yes, but later asked State Trooper Russ Winger to be on the safe side.

The out basket: Yes, Russ replied, “normally the right turn has priority but, as you know, road signs, engineering  and markings such as the yield signs can control movement.”

It’s comparable to how a no-right-turn-on-red sign eliminates the lawfulness of a right on red.

2 thoughts on “Left turners vs. right turners at yield sign

  1. Funny how you mentioned how signs can control the movement of traffic, which makes perfect sense. Problem with the signs is the fact that people cannot see them. You know like a stop sign, where drivers just roll right through it or a yield sign, where drivers will come to a complete stop. Also those signs out there that say slower traffic keep right or keep right except to pass. Or how about any work zone sign. It is almost like those signs are invisible to drivers, despite the fact they are the only signs out there that are orange. Or how about those drivers who act like there is a sign when there is not one. Example is 95% of any driver who gets off the 303 to go down Ridgetop and they are in the right lane and they come to a complete stop in a lane that there is no stop sign. As a matter of fact they have their own lane, but they see traffic coming in the other lane and they stop and back up traffic. And on any given week you can see a fender bender there. But hey instead of the county fixing it and say maybe putting up the little lane barriers along the curve that goes down Ridgetop, they leave it alone and the dumb drivers are lost. Drive safe smart drivers

  2. The problem with the types of intersections in the original question is that the left-turner can’t see the yield sign that the right turner sees. So how do you know, as a left turner, that you don’t need to wait for the right turner when the yield sign is only visible to the right turner? This happens all the time at the intersection of Greaves Way and Old Frontier Rd. in Silverdale. Drivers turning left from Greaves onto Old Frontier just sit there waiting for the oncoming right turners who are waiting there yielding like the sign says and it takes them way too long for someone to decide to go.

    These types of non-standard intersections should be removed and the regular rules of the road should be followed. Left turners should yield to oncoming traffic and the yield sign for the right-turners should be removed. Or else figure out some way to communicate to the left-turners that they should yield to oncoming traffic, unless said traffic is in their right lane intending to turn right. And we all know how well that will turn out, given that about 90% of people around here are too lazy to use their turn signals.

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