Last Friday’s post regarding the left turn on red at the courthouse square reaped quite a bit of reader review and comment. So much that it increased our readership three fold. It also caused the Hunt County News staff to research current traffic laws referencing a left hand turn on red.
The HCN staff contacted DPS in Austin and we were referred to DPS Sergeant Lonnie Haschel. Sgt. Haschel said “ I am not familiar with the Greenville situation but most courthouse squares in Texas follow similar traffic patterns in that streets around the square are one way”. He offered the following guidelines referencing a left hand turn on red.
Texas law states an operator of a vehicle facing only a steady red signal shall stop at a clearly marked stop line. In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. A vehicle that is not turning shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown. After stopping, standing until the intersection may be entered safely, and yielding right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully in an adjacent crosswalk and other traffic lawfully using the intersection, the operator may turn right; or turn left, if the intersecting streets are both one-way streets and a left turn is permissible.
The verdict is in, folks. Many of us have been driving around the courthouse square in some form or another for the last thirty years. The far inside lane is permitted to turn left on red after stopping to insure the way is clear of opposing traffic.