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Old April 17th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #1
Penn's Woods
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Traffic Laws and Customs: Right on Red, Radar Detectors....

There's been a certain amount of discussion on various threads in recent days of regional practices - whether by law or just by custom - such as bad American lane discipline, priority to the right, flashing lights....

A couple of things come to mind that I haven't seen come up yet and I thought it might make sense to start a central thread for this sort of thing.

(On the other hand, it could become a disorganized mess, and let's try not to insult each other's countries....)

My two things:
1) Radar detectors - to my knowledge, they are legal in the U.S. everywhere except Virginia and the District of Columbia (although I'm old enough to remember, verbatim, the signs that read:

THE INSTALLATION AND USE
OF RADAR DETECTORS IS
ILLEGAL IN CONNECTICUT

If I'm not mistaken, they're illegal in Canada. How about Europe?
(I don't have one, by the way....)

2) Right on red - in the U.S., it is generally legal to basically treat a red light like a stop sign if you're turning right. By which I mean stop, wait for any cross-traffic, let pedestrians cross, please, then turn - you don't have to wait for the light to change. At intersections where the authorities think this wouldn't be safe, there'l be a sign reading "No Turn on Red." As far as I know, it's this way everywhere in the U.S. except New York City. (And there, it's the other way around: it is permitted at some intersections, but there has to be a sign saying so. No sign, don't do it.)

Many states also permit left on red if you're turning from one one-way street to another.

What's the situation in Canada?

And I gather this is generally unknown in Europe?


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Old April 17th, 2011, 05:48 PM   #2
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I don't know so well about other countries but I can speak about Estonia.

1) Radar detectors are illegal. If the police find a radar detector in your car, even if it's not working, you will be fined.
2)Turning right on red is illegal BUT: if the right turning lane (in this case it has to be right-turn only) is physically separated from the other lanes then traffic signals don't apply. I made a crappy drawing to illustrate this.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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Yes, you get a lot of those in Europe. There are also some junctions with a separate, light with an arrow (filterlights) that allow you to turn left or right.

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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:39 PM   #4
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this thing with additional green arrow is common in Croatia indeed. i haven't noticed it that much in othere European countries as here

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Old April 17th, 2011, 09:12 PM   #5
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It's very common in the UK and you can find it in Portugal too
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Old April 18th, 2011, 03:57 AM   #6
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Radar Detectors:

Alberta: They are illegal. If caught, you can face a fine, regardless of whether or not it is operating.*

British Columbia: They are illegal here too, though it's not really enforced.*

Right turns on Red: In Canada, with the exception of Quebec** A right turn on red is permitted after coming to a FULL stop, unless prohibited by a sign. If you are turning left from a one way street, to a one way street, it is legal to turn left on a red light, unless otherwise posted.

* New types of radar guns have rendered detectors useless, as they are only active while the trigger is being pulled.

** With the exception of a very few places, it is ILLEGAL to turn right on a red light in this province, unless otherwise posted, or a right turn arrow is showing.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 04:03 AM   #7
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Radar detectors will be superseded by the increasing number of GPS navigation systems, proprietary or built as apps for smartphones, that allows users to sign online location of radar guns with a single touch (live nuisances and disruptions entering).

However, I think the thing of the future is sector-measurement instead of point-measurement of velocity.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 06:38 AM   #8
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Not sure about radar detectors in NZ. I think they're illegal but people still have them anyway.

However, it is now illegal to reverse into angled parking and it is also illegal to drive during the day with fog lamps running.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
2) Right on red - in the U.S., it is generally legal to basically treat a red light like a stop sign if you're turning right. By which I mean stop, wait for any cross-traffic, let pedestrians cross, please, then turn - you don't have to wait for the light to change. At intersections where the authorities think this wouldn't be safe, there'l be a sign reading "No Turn on Red." As far as I know, it's this way everywhere in the U.S. except New York City. (And there, it's the other way around: it is permitted at some intersections, but there has to be a sign saying so. No sign, don't do it.)
In Florida, we have an interesting situation as a result of the approval last year of a heavily-lobbied law to allow red-light cameras as a revenue-raising tool disguised as "traffic safety".

Now, except in those intersections with "NO TURN ON RED" signs, you can make a right turn on red after coming to a complete stop and making sure no traffic is so close to the intersection as to constitue an immediate hazard. If you don't come to a complete stop, a police officer can ticket you for it regardless of how safely you made the turn. However, if you don't come to a complete stop, but make the turn in a "reasonable and prudent" manner, the camera can not issue you a violation notice or ticket, but a cop can if he sees you. Due to that unequal treatment of violators depending on who or what observes the violation, it is likely that the courts will find the camera law unconstitutional (if it's not first repealed by the state legislature).

Quote:
Many states also permit left on red if you're turning from one one-way street to another.
That's permitted in Florida.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Radar detectors will be superseded by the increasing number of GPS navigation systems, proprietary or built as apps for smartphones, that allows users to sign online location of radar guns with a single touch (live nuisances and disruptions entering).
Those are illegal here too.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #11
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In Italy you cannot in general turn right on the red traffic lights, unless a dedicated light for turning right is green. However, some months ago I found one of these intersections where you were actually allowed to turn right on red near my hometown. I thought I had to respect the red anyway and behind me a long queue of horn-honking cars formed

Radar detectors are illegal in Italy, but the position of every radar must be public and Police is forced to publish an updated list of radar installments. So, if you have a GPS with radar database (which is legal) you will have no problems.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #12
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I downloaded an android app called "Blitzer". It has a huge database of speed cameras...both mobile and stationary.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 01:37 PM   #13
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When I lived in US, out of confusion about different red-light right-turn laws, I never turned right, preferring to wait for the green and save myself the pain of a fine when driving in other cities.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 02:05 PM   #14
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In NL radarsets are prohibited.

[IMG]http://i1.************/xm3dib.jpg[/IMG]

Nearly all Dutch traffic lights have separated directions, with separate lights (red, yellow and green) for the right and left turn, for the pedestrian and bike lanes, etc. There are even seperated lights in some places for multiple bikelanes as well...


(mind your head... - aaargh)

BTW: turning at a full red light is illegal, unless there's a green arrowed light next to it.

Last edited by aswnl; April 18th, 2011 at 02:12 PM.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #15
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Radar detectors in Spain are prohibited under €6,000 fine and -6 points.

Generally you can't turn on red unless there's one of those green arrows.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #16
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Radar detectors are legal in Slovenia but not jammers.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #17
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I don't know about the legality of radar detectors in the UK, but a lot of maps say where speed cameras are, as do warning signs
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Old April 18th, 2011, 04:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
When I lived in US, out of confusion about different red-light right-turn laws, I never turned right, preferring to wait for the green and save myself the pain of a fine when driving in other cities.
As far as I know it's only New York City - the "five boroughs" - that prohibits it except at intersections where there's a sign authorizing it. So no need for confusion. (And if you see "No turn on red" signs around, wouldn't it follow that the default position is that it's permitted?)

And this sort of thing can be looked up. I could swear the AAA publishes a pamphlet with a name like "digest of local traffic laws" although I can't find it now. And in the intro to each state in AAA TourBooks (this I'm pretty sure of, although I'm at my parents' so I don't have one at hand) there's a box with practical information (time zone, legal holidays...) and things like whether there's a cell-phone ban.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 04:05 PM   #19
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I saw a picture of sign that sead "Do not turn on red" or something and it was a pretty small sign
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Old April 18th, 2011, 04:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
I don't know about the legality of radar detectors in the UK, but a lot of maps say where speed cameras are, as do warning signs
Road atlases of France show locations of "radars fixes," which surprised me when they started doing it, but why not.... If the purpose of the radar is to get people to slow down, showing it on the map serves the same purpose, I guess.

Incidentally, speed cameras are - at least so far - extremely rare in the U.S. Maryland and the District of Columbia may be the only places using them. I was caught by one in Maryland and got the only speeding ticket of my life.
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