Left on red from Loxie Eagans to Highway 3 is legal

The in basket: Marilyn Painter wonders if there is anything about the left turn from Bremerton’s Loxie Eagans Boulevard onto the Highway 3 on-ramp to go north that doesn’t qualify it as a place a person can make the turn against a red light, after stopping fully and yielding to other traffic. 

” I often see people stopped (there) unwilling to go against the red light,” she said.

The out basket: There is no sign prohibiting it, so yes, those left turns are legal if done correctly. The fact that a red ball light stops would-be left turn traffic, rather than a red arrow light, makes no difference.

Readers who have missed all the previous Road Warrior columns describing this law probably are shaking their heads saying, “What is he talking about?”

It’s a peculiarity of Washington law that left turns onto a one-way street can be made against a red light, but only after making a complete stop and without endangering any other traffic.

This particular intersection is very close to the state patrol headquarters, so there’s a good chance an officer will see you if you do it, so be sure you do it right, stopping fully and yielding to anyone with the green light. I also noticed that it’s a little harder at that spot than others to be sure the two lanes of oncoming traffic also have a red light, which is cause for an extra measure of caution.

One-way streets are sufficiently rare in Kitsap County that the freeway on-ramps are among the few places it can be done. And I find that if I’m not first in the left-turn line, it might as well not be legal, because no driver ahead of me will do it. 

And as a November column on the subject noted, a police officer new to the state might not be aware of the law and cite you for it. It’s in RCW 46.61.055 if you ever need to look it up. It’s in the state Driver’s Guide too.

I’ve had no success finding out what led to this odd exception to normal driving laws, which has existed for years and probably decades. Do any of you readers know?


One thought on “Left on red from Loxie Eagans to Highway 3 is legal

  1. Better to be safe than sorry. Too many folks already abuse the red like, like the guy behind me that couldn’t stay off his horn when I came to a stop at a red light. Sure I was making a right turn, but as I understand the law, I was correct to stop and he could have been cited for aggressive driver.

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