Confusing Arrows on Two-Way Left Turn Only Signs
Every day several visitors are confused by the two-way left turn signs or the pavement markings in a center turn lane.
They think that the arrows show both left and right turns. They don’t.
What the Arrows Mean
The arrows start from two different directions (top and bottom). The indicate that you may travel from both directions in this lane. Both arrows are curved to the left when you follow them from either direction.
They show that you must turn left from this lane and that vehicles from the opposite direction must also turn left.
When you see turn arrows painted on the pavement or when they appear on road signs, you must always obey them. If they curve to the left or right, or point straight, you can’t go in any other direction from that lane.
Remember, the curved arrow pointing towards you in a two-way left turn lane directs traffic from opposite direction.
Don’t Make Right Turns from This Lane
The lane must not be used for right turns.
When you wish to turn right, you must keep close to right-hand road side or right-hand curb. You should signal well ahead of the turn, slow down, and turn when safe. Don’t enter the center lane and wait for traffic to clear.
If a driver ahead of you is slowing down to make a right turn, stay behind. The two-way left turn lane cannot be used for passing or overtaking the other vehicle.
Don’t Enter a Two-Way Left Turn Lane too Soon
Enter a two-way left turn lane to prepare for a left turn, but don’t enter too soon.
If you enter a two-way left turn too soon, you may obstruct vehicles coming from the other direction. Many states have laws that specify how far you can travel in this lane to prepare for a left turn. Unless state laws say otherwise, a rule of thumb is to never go further than 150 feet in this lane.
The lane should never be used for passing, overtaking, or through travel.
Turning Left from a Side Road
In most states, the lane can also be used when turning left from a side road. Enter the lane and wait until traffic clears. Don’t use the lane to get up to speed with traffic. Remember that the lane can be used by traffic from both directions. Any time you use the lane for any other purpose than what is designated for, you can cause a collision.
A two-way left turn lane is marked with a normal broken yellow line and a normal solid yellow line on each side on the lane. It is also marked with white two-way left-turn lane-use arrows. Read more about pavement markings here.
Summary: What the Signs Tell You
The signs are used where a center lane is reserved for the exclusive use of left-turning vehicles in either direction and is not used for passing, overtaking, or through travel.
Illustrations: Xzelenz Media