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Heyburn Police Chief Dan Bristol

Heyburn Police Chief Dan Bristol

I’m hoping this new year starts out write and by write I mean, of course, writing 2018 instead of 2017 as the date.

Q: I have noticed on several occasions cars turning left onto a one way street from the right lane of a two lane street on a red light. Is this legal? -Candy

A: That depends on your definition of legal. Some drivers figure that it’s only illegal if they get caught. This is when I usually get to hear all sorts of excuses from, “It’s the first time I ever did it”; to “How come nobody else gets stopped for this?”

The answer here, if no other circumstances exist, is that it is not normally legal to turn from what we might call the outside lane onto a one-way street.

Idaho Code 49-644 (2) reads: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left shall approach the turn in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made to the left of the center of the intersection and so as to leave the intersection or other location in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction on the highway being entered.”

Further on that Idaho Code 49-644 (3) (a) reads: A left turn shall not be made from any other lane.

Some exceptions for turning left from the outside lane onto a one-way street can make it legal however. If there was construction in the left or inside lane then it would be legal to turn left onto a one-way street. It would also be legal to turn left from the outside lane if emergency personnel were directing traffic and directed a driver to go that way from the outside lane.

If there were no issues for drivers to turn left from the outside lane then they would have made an illegal turn. You could sign a citation against that driver if no law enforcement personnel had witnessed the event. Just make sure that if you do sign a complaint you go to court if the driver fights it as you would get to be “Cop for a day” and just like some cops you could go to court and spend most of your day off there.

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Officer down

Please put these officers, killed in the line of duty, and their families in your prayers. They fought the good fight, now may they rest in peace. God bless these heroes.

  • Officer Andrew Camilleri, California Highway Patrol
  • Deputy Sheriff Zackari Parrish, Douglas County Sheriff, Colorado
  • K9 Koda, Brockton Police, Massachusetts

Have a question for Policemandan? Email your question(s) to or look for Ask Policemandan on Facebook and click the like button. Mail to: Box 147, Heyburn, Idaho 83336

Dan Bristol is the City of Heyburn chief of police.


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