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Commercial vehicles and double right turns

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by JReding, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. JReding

    JReding Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This question is more of a hypothetical, if that's alright; it is also transportation related, if anyone specializes in that.
    I'm involved in an ongoing, very lengthy debate on another forum (well over 1,000 comments now. I can provide the link to it, if needed) regarding double right turns and commercial vehicles, in particular tractor/trailer combinations.
    The main source of chagrin for most of us is a fellow who keeps using information from the California commercial vehicle guide regarding single right turns, and applying it to double right turns. There is no law on the books regarding this subject: I've already spoken to two LEOs (one in Washington, one in California), as well as two driving school instructors; while they have different views as to the best lane to be in under normal circumstances, they all agree that it is situational.
    The "adversary" has essentially stated that if a driver is involved in a collision while turning from the outside lane, an attorney would have a field day with him in a court of law.
    Opinions?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Not enough information.

    I'm not interested in reading a thread with over 1000 comments. The only reason for any discussion to get that far out of hand is because the participants are idiots and trolls. Trust me on that. I've been on forums for 15 years and I've seen it all. There are no accidents that can't be explained in fewer than a handful of comments.

    Feel free to describe in detail how this hypothetical collision occurs. Who does what where? Post a link to a diagram showing the beginning, travel, and ending positions of the vehicles.
     
  3. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    WTF is a "double right turn"??
     
  4. JReding

    JReding Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Below is the original question that started the entire debate, with a very crude drawing by me of the described intersection. Sorry I couldn't create a better diagram. His question has to do with whether it's better to turn from lane 1, or lane 2. Keep in mind that the truck will more than likely encroach on the adjacent lane, in most situations this is unavoidable.
    IMAG1149 (1).jpg



    "So guys I have a question. I know it's probably silly but like they say the only dumb question is the one that doesn't get asked. I want to know if I am approaching a right hand turn but there are 2 right turning lanes. Which lane should I be in to make the turn? Also if you can give me an explanation as to why that is. Thanks!"
     
  5. JReding

    JReding Law Topic Starter New Member

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    If you'll give me a moment, I'll include information from typical Commercial drivers guide...
     
  6. JReding

    JReding Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Excerpts from the California Commercial Drivers Handbook
    Screenshot_20160707-192015_1.jpg Screenshot_20160707-192241_1.jpg
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No wonder the dispute has 1000 posts on the other site. The question asks "what is better"? Well, the response to that is a purely subjective opinion and opinions are like rectums, everybody has one, whether they know what they are talking about or not.

    With regard to tractor trailer combinations the suggestions in that handbook appear reasonable and logical but they are just suggestions, not law.

    A commercial driver, making any of those suggested moves, who hits (or is hit by) another vehicle that is being operated properly, is going to be at fault for that accident every time.

    There are two sets of laws involved there. Statutory laws and negligence laws.

    Where statutes allow lane changes on turns they allow them if the lane changes can be made safely. A driver who changes lanes (or just moves out of his lane temporarily out of necessity) and hits, or gets hit by, another vehicle that is being operated properly is in violation of the statute and gets the ticket because he has not made the move safely. Had he made it safely there would have been no collision. You see how that works?.

    Negligence law says the same thing so, not only does he get the ticket, but he (or his insurance) pays for the damage to the other vehicle because a collision under those circumstances means he did not make the move safely. Had he made the move safely there would have been no collision.

    So, you see, it didn't (and won't) take 1000 comments to answer the question with regard to law.

    And in answer to any "what if the other driver ...?" questions, I'm not going to address those because, in any accident involving who did what, the accident has to be addressed on its own merits.

    As for an opinion as to which lane is better that's like asking which is better - a Ford or a Chevy, or asking which is better - a Glock or a 1911, or some other such foolishness.

    The smartest thing (not necessarily the best thing) that any driver can do is pick a lane, stay in that lane, make a turn from that lane and remain in that lane coming out of the turn and avoid abrupt last minute lane changes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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  8. JReding

    JReding Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks, @adjusterjack. For give my ignorance, being new here and all, but I'm assuming you're currently in practice?

    The vast majority of us on the other forum are of the same opinion as you. Essentially, as long as you can make the turn safely and efficiently, it is a legal turn.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I practice many things: Singing in the shower, witchcraft in the forest, alchemy in the workshop. But if you are asking if I'm a lawyer, no, I'm not. I am a retired insurance claim rep with 35 years in the insurance industry and 15 years on a variety of websites like this one. With the exception of Mike Wechsler (a lawyer who owns this site and participates frequently) we are all volunteers with experience and knowledge of a variety of areas.

    That's true where lane changes are permitted on a turn which I think is true in California, but there are states that prohibit lane changes on turns and in intersections. In those states one can be cited even if there is no collision.
     
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  10. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    So there is no "double right turn" it's simply a right turn.

    Around here if you are making a right turn you are mandated to make that turn from the right lane or right edge of the roadway if there is only one lane. There are no exceptions.

    Considering the laws on movement of traffic and dimensions of vehicles in my state, if you can't turn properly then your vehicle is probably too long to be navigating the streets in question.
     
  11. JReding

    JReding Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What I meant by double right turn was two marked lanes turning adjacent to each other.
    Yes, we are required to turn from the curb lane in cases of single right turn lanes, that is standard practice.
    Most carriers, other than OTR, will at least attempt to load shipments when allowable onto trucks/trailers that will work in specific areas due to road restrictions, space limitation, etc. OTR carriers typically don't have that option, and yet they are required to make the delivery nontheless. That is why you will occasionally see trucks in neighborhoods where it's obvious they're either not going to fit, or have a very rough time of it. And believe me, those drivers certainly aren't enjoying themselves.
     
  12. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Where I work it is the norm. Carriers and drivers seem to be ignorant of the dimensions and weights statutes, or just pretend to be. When I stop a truck for these types of things and explain to the driver why they are being stopped I usually get a blank stare and a "huh?" in return.
     
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  13. JReding

    JReding Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm betting a good share of the OTR drivers are rookies, not wise to researching routes well. Most times, companies leave that up to the drivers...otherwise, they would have to have someone (or a full department) to be able to research road restrictions.
    I take it you're an LEO. I come from a law enforcement family (two brothers retired PCSD, one cousin still active with the same department). Take care of yourself...
     
  14. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Actually many are very experienced drivers and I hear "I've been driving here for 20 years and never heard of this and never got stopped for it before".

    I have no idea how common restrictions are in other states, but there are strict limits in New York and even stricter limits in New York City. One of the problems is lack of enforcement, because it is fairly specialized.

    Thanks for the good wishes.
     
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