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Driving Myth #4: Use of Turning Lanes

Myth No. 4:  I can use the left turn lane (or designated center turn lane) as a merging lane or as a lane of travel to get up to my anticipated turning point.

This could rank as among the most highly abused of our five Portland driving myths. The incorrect use of left turn lanes is tempting, relatively easy and the obvious choice for many motorists trying to make up time during periods of heavy traffic. But here’s the catch. It’s illegal, and it’s extremely dangerous.

ORS 811.346 – Misuse of Special Left Turn Lane. This statute requires:

  •  All vehicles to use these continuous left turn lanes exclusively for turning into or out of a driveway
  • Those who use these lanes to turn from a driveway with a view to merging with traffic are allowed to do so only if they stop and remain stopped before actually merging with traffic.
  • Using these lanes to pass traffic to reach your turning point is specifically in breach of the statute and punishable with a hefty fine.

Video Provided by the Portland Police Bureau