Left turns are more dangerous than right turns because of oncoming traffic. Different types of streets require different left turn procedures. Only make a left turn when it’s legal and safe.
When approaching the intersection, check for signs that may prohibit or restrict turns. Before making a left turn, enter the proper lane well before the intersection.
When approaching the intersection, signal for the turn and watch for:
- pedestrians at the crosswalk
- traffic coming from your left and right
- any vehicles established in or blocking the intersection
- traffic approaching from the opposite direction
Never enter any intersection:
- if it’s not safe to do so
- if you will not be able to clear the intersection because traffic is backed up in the lane you wish to enter
- if the intersection is blocked
Making left turns on a green light
If you have stopped at a red light, when the light turns green, you must move into the intersection if it’s safe. Before moving ahead, you must check:
- for pedestrians crossing in front of you
- for traffic coming from left and right (watch for vehicles attempting to race the amber light)
If you are approaching an intersection and the light is green, you must check:
- to make sure the intersection is clear
- that it’s safe for you to enter
- that the light is still green
When it’s safe, move ahead to just before the centre of the intersection and just to the right of the directional oncoming line.
Once established in the intersection, you may clear the intersection when it’s safe and if:
- there’s no pedestrian traffic crossing the lanes you wish to turn into
- there’s a break in traffic big enough to complete your turn safely without interfering with oncoming vehicles
- no other vehicles are approaching
If the light turns yellow or red while you are established in the intersection, watch for traffic slowing down to stop and complete your turn when it’s safe. Always be alert to drivers attempting to race an amber light. (If you are not already established in the intersection, you must not attempt the left turn when the light changes from green.)
Making left turns from two-way onto another two-way street
- Well ahead of the turn, look for any following vehicles, signal and move close to the centre line.
- Slow down and look both ways before starting turn.
- Enter the intersection to the right of the directional dividing line.
- Make your turn to the left of the centre of the intersection.
- If turning onto a four-lane highway outside a city, town or village, move to the right after completing the turn, if traffic permits.
Making left turns when two lanes can turn
Complete this turn the same as any other turn except when two lanes are allowed to turn left at the same time. The vehicle closest to the median must complete the turn and stay in the lane closest to the median on the street being turned onto. The vehicle second from the median must turn into the second lane from the median on the street being turned onto. When turning with vehicles beside you that are also turning, watch for vehicles that may not stay in their own lane and be prepared to avoid them.
Making left turns from a street with a stop sign onto a street with a boulevard
- Make a complete stop.
- Check traffic and when there’s no traffic coming from the left or traffic turning in front of you and it’s safe, proceed. If traffic is approaching from the right establish your vehicle in the intersection.
- Complete your turn when it’s safe, to the left of the centre of the intersection in the boulevard area.
Making left turns from one-way onto another one-way street
- To make a left turn, the driver should, when safe, move into the left lane closest to the left curb.
- Slow down and begin your left turn after checking for traffic.
- Turn into the lane closest to the left curb unless blocked within 30 metres of the intersection.
- Unless otherwise indicated, you may turn left from a one-way street to a one-way street on a red traffic light, after stopping and yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic.
Making left turns from one-way onto two-way street
- Signal well ahead of the turn and, when safe, move into the left lane closest to the left curb.
- Slow down and begin the left turn from a point as close as possible to the left curb or edge of the roadway.
- When entering the two-way street, turn into the lane immediately to the right of the centre line.
Making left turns from two-way onto one-way street
- Signal and, when safe, move into the lane next to the centre line in preparation for the turn.
- Slow down before entering the intersection, check for traffic ahead and to the right and, when safe, begin the turn.
- Turn from the lane next to the centre line into the lane nearest the left curb unless it’s blocked within 30 metres of the intersection.
Making left turns onto driveways and lanes
To make a left turn onto a driveway or back lane, signal and move into the proper lane before turning left.