Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, December 23, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

Idaho Driver's Manual inconsistent with Idaho statute on turning left on a red light; Millbrook Way and Eckert Road intersection will not get extra signage

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard:  I was with my brother-in-law navigating the streets of Boise, and we started discussing the things that annoy us about other drivers. My brother-in-law had particular disdain for those who make illegal left-hand turns on red from two-way streets onto one-way streets. Being a long-time reader of your informative column, I knew that several years ago, you had indicated such a turn was legal. I informed my brother-in-law of this, but he impugned your character and intelligence for even suggesting such a thing be legal. I prepared to defend your Wizardness, and while doing this, I found most of the supporting references to be consistent with your previous observations, except for a recent change to the Idaho Transportation Department's Idaho Driver's Manual. I was hoping you could shed some light on why the current manual seems to have an inconsistency, and now includes a reference that you can make this left turn on red from a one-way street onto one-way street, thus inferring that turning from a one-way street is a requirement.

Johnny O

Road Wizard:

There are some changes in the 2018 version of the Idaho Driver's Manual. It now states that, "when turning left, from a one-way street, onto a one-way street, you may proceed from a steady red light after stopping and yielding for cross traffic, unless otherwise posted."

When I asked the ITD public information office about this, I was told that "left turns on a steady red light, onto a one-way street, from a two-way street, are not allowed." Based on that response, the brother-in-law may feel he has won the debate.

But the Idaho Driver's Manual isn't the final word on driving laws - Idaho statutes are the authority. And the current relevant statute (49-802) states that, "except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, a driver after stopping, facing a steady circular red signal, may turn right, or turn left from a highway onto a one-way highway after stopping."

Based on that wording, there is no restriction on the highway the driver is turning from. The left-on-red can be made from a one-way or two-way road as long as there isn't a red arrow, but the turn must be made onto a one-way street. The Boise Police Department agrees.

Dear Road Wizard readers: On December 2, "Jim" wrote about the corner of brand-new Millbrook Way and Eckert Road in the Harris Ranch area. He was concerned about drivers on Millbrook not making much of a stop at the Greenbelt crossing.

Road Wizard Update

Road Wizard:

ACHD looked into adding a "trail ahead" sign on Millbrook to increase awareness of the Greenbelt. However, it was determined that adequate driver information already exists - the stop sign and stop line on Millbrook, and the marked crosswalk for the trail along Eckert. The view of traffic on Eckert and the Greenbelt is good, so a trail sign isn't likely to be helpful beyond what is already in place.

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