Ask a Trooper: Turning into the proper laneMinnesota State Patrol Sgt. Curt S. Mowers writes about turning into the proper lane.
Question: Is it not the law, when you turn left or right on to a four lane divided highway you should turn into the nearest lane first, then signal and proceed to the other lane? Nine of 10 times I see turns into the far lane right away.
Answer: Yes, you are correct. A driver must turn into the closest lane initially. That is what we are taught, but as you are witnessing, many people just don’t understand it for some reason. There are, of course, some exceptions to this. One exception, for example, is on some roadways when you are turning from a one-way street or roadway onto a one-way street or roadway.
When you turn out into that far lane, you are risking a crash. You are possibly preventing someone from making a right turn into that lane as well. You should be turning into the closest lane, then signaling and moving over into the farther lane when it is safe and clear to do so, like you indicated. Turning from the proper lane to the proper lane can, in some cases, also apply to turn lanes. Another part of the problem seems to be that a lot of drivers are not signaling their turns in advance, if at all.
If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, MN State Patrol, P.O. Box 644, Brainerd, MN 56401. Questions are edited.