Left-Hand Turns and Traffic Markings


Depending on the markings and signage on the roadway, a left-hand turn may or may not be legally completed. Markings and signs may also indicate in what fashion the left turn can be made. Hopefully, I can help answer some questions and clear up some confusion that comes with left turns and the many ways traffic lanes are marked and posted. Left turns are regulated for roadway-to-roadway movements, private/business drive to roadway movements, and roadway to private/business drive movements. Regulations regarding left turns can be found in Utah Code 41-6a-801.

• Solid Double Line:
Two solid yellow lines running parallel indicate a two-way no passing zone.
• Two-Way Left-Turn Lane: Two sets of double yellow lines. Each set of yellow lines consists of a solid yellow on the outside and a broken yellow on the inside. Vehicles traveling in either direction or entering the roadway may use this lane for left turns. This lane cannot be traveled in for more than 500 feet.
• Painted Island: Two sets of SOLID double yellow lines. This should be treated as if it were a raised island. The area between the two sets of solid yellow lines cannot be entered or crossed for any reason.

• When turning from one roadway to another, you must make a left turn from the extreme left lane of one into the extreme left lane of the other. An exception is when multiple left turn lanes are provided. In the case of multiple left turn lanes, you must turn into the corresponding travel lane.
• Left turns may be made across a solid, double yellow line when entering or leaving the roadway. This is often the case into or out of a private drive or business entrance/exit. Use caution; vehicles often will be stopping or slowing in the travel lane in preparation to make this turn.
• Left turns can be made into or out of a two-way left turn lane. This lane cannot be traveled in except when preparing to make or complete a left turn. The maximum distance this lane can be traveled in when completing or preparing to make a turn is 500 feet. U-turns may be made from this lane.

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion about left turns. Please contact any North Ogden police officer if you have any questions regarding left turns or any other issue. We are happy to help whenever possible. Thank you for driving safely and helping everyone using our roadways get to their destinations safely.

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