Louisiana Drivers – Know the Difference Between a Red Light and a Red Arrow
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - When you see a red light, do you notice if it's a round one or an arrow? Did you know that there is a difference between the two?
When you approach a red light looking to turn right, you know that you must stop first, then you can proceed through to the right turn. But, that is not the law when you approach a red arrow.
Drivers violate this every day.
There are two intersections in Lafayette Parish that I travel often that have red arrows instead of red lights: W. Broussard at Johnston Street and US 90 at Chemin Metairie Parkway (which extends to Aillet Road as it intersects with US 90). At each of these traffic lights, drivers are breaking Louisiana law every day by turning right on a red arrow.
Louisiana Law §232. Traffic-control signals states in relation to a steady red indication:
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked stop line, or if none, then before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown except as provided in Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.
(b) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow signal shall not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by the arrow and, unless entering the intersection to make a movement permitted by another signal, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, or if none, then before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain standing until an indication permitting the movement indicated by such red arrow is shown except as provided in Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.
(c) Except when a sign prohibits a turn, vehicular traffic facing any steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way street, or to U-turn at a signalized U-turn after stopping as required by Subparagraph (a) or Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.
(d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in R.S. 32:233, a pedestrian facing a steady circular red or red arrow signal shall not enter the roadway.
Red arrows are used for protected turn lanes, which is why you can't turn right on a red arrow.
So, the next time you approach a traffic light, take a second to notice whether it uses a round light or an arrow.
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Gallery Credit: JayCee