No Stop or Yield Right Hand Turn - Deadly for Bikes and Pedestrians
The no stop right hand turn is one of the more deadly scenarios for bikes and pedestrians especially on busy surface streets. As an attorney that represents bike and pedestrian accident victims, it is an event I have seen many times.
- For Bicycle Riders: This usually plays out when a the bike is approaching an intersection on a green light, traveling along the right hand edge of the curb. If the light is green, the automobile operator will go past the biker and make an abrupt turn to the right many times without signaling. The bike driver continues straight with no indication that the auto will turn and collides with the passenger side door of the vehicle.
- For Pedestrians: The walker or jogger is waiting while facing a red light and no walk signal. When the light turns green, they step out into the crosswalk on a green light with the walk signal. The driver of the car, truck or motorcycle, comes up to the green light and makes an abrupt turn to the right without due regard for persons in the crossing and strikes the pedestrian.
Several CA statutes come into play in this particular circumstance. They include the following:
- No driver attempting to turn right may do so until (a) it is “reasonably safe” to do so; and (b) an appropriate turn signal has been given. CVC 22107
- The driver intending to turn right on a highway must stay as far as practical along the right hand edge of the road as they approach the turn. CVC 22100
- The right of way must be yielded to pedestrians who are lawfully within a crosswalk. CVC 21950(a)
- Turning movements at intersections may be controlled by appropriate notices (e.g. no right turn on red light) CVC 22101
- A driver approaching a red circular traffic signal which is illuminated must come to a complete stop at the limit line. Furthermore, “A driver making that turn shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to any vehicle that has approached or is approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the driver, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that vehicle until the driver can proceed with reasonable safety.” CVC 21453
Obviously, the bike rider or walker must use caution in and around intersections. However, more often than not, the majority of the fault for these accidents lies with the driver who failed to do one or more of the following:
- Stop completely at the limit line and only proceed with the right hand turn once bikes and walkers or joggers have crossed.
- Give a proper signal prior to making the right turn and or not checking side view and rear view mirrors to determine whether bikes are approaching from the rear or to the right of the automobile.
- Make the turn from the right side of the road and cautiously as opposed to making a sudden turn from the left lanes or left portion of the road, giving bikers and walkers no indication of an intent to move to the right.
If a person riding a bike or walking is injured or killed by a person making a negligent right hand turn at a California intersection, it is important to consult with and retain an attorney familiar with intersection accidents involving bikes and pedestrians. Our office has handled many such cases with great success including some recent jury trial verdicts and settlements. Call for a free consultation toll free statewide: 866-966-5240.