There are a few common questions asked on nearly every road trip, near or far. "Are we there yet?" is a classic. "What is that guy doing?" is another and "Can I turn right on red here?" is one we have all asked at one time or another. The real question is "Can we turn LEFT on red in New York State?".

The answer is YES, but not every time.

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If you asked me yesterday if I'd pass a New York State driver's license exam today, I would have said absolutely! After learning that you can turn left on red in New York State I am a little less confident.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash
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According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, There are a few basic rules when it comes to a red traffic light. Here are some:

  • Stop at a every steady red light.
  • Turn RIGHT on red after coming to a complete stop and making sure it's clear to go.
  • Treat a flashing red light as if it were a stop sign.

All of these make sense but what about turning LEFT on red?

Photo by Crystal Jo on Unsplash
Photo by Crystal Jo on Unsplash
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The DMV confirms that you can make a left turn at a steady red light. If you are driving down a one-way street and you come to an intersection with another one-way street crossing in front of you, you can turn left on red. Stop, look and, if all is clear, go.

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