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Learn how about CENTRE Left Turning Lanes and how to use these correctly - watch the video.

How To Use Centre Left Turning Lanes


Closed Caption


- Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about center left turn lanes.

These are left turning lanes that are often on main thoroughfares in the center of the road, that lets you turn from a major road on to a minor road.

So that's what we're going to go over today, and give you a bit more information.

Stick around, we'll be right back with that information.

(energetic music) Hi there, smart drivers.

Welcome back.

Today, talking about center left turn lanes.

Left Centre Turning Lanes in Nebraska

I had a comment from dontusehername, one of the smart drivers here on the channel, who contributes regularly.

Comment from Smart Driver requesting information about left centre turning lanes and the correct procedure for using these.

TheWhoFan4 showed me a clip from the DOT in Nebraska, which explained what they were, center left turn lanes.

And you can see that here.

And I'll put a link down in the description for you as well on that, center left turn lanes.

So you know exactly what they are, but that's what we're going to go over today, and give you a bit more clarification.

Drivers Are Confused By Left Centre Turn Lanes

As well, I did in the community tab there, put up a poll on that and 40% of people are confused by this, so it wasn't just dontusehername that was confused by this, and me as well.

A survey showing that almost half of drivers find left centre turning lanes confusing.

So that's what were going to go over today.

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So a center left turn lane.

This well help you.

We just move over into the center of the lane here, and we position our vehicle so it's straight.

There aren't any vehicles coming, and we simply turn the corner into the services along the roadway here.

(mumbles) because you can't go around in a circle.

You going to go back out.

Left center turn lane.

It's right here.

Observation & Shoulder Checking

So you figure out where you want to go, shoulder check, move into the center left turn lane here.

You can see that it's left turning both ways, but the arrow's up there, and the other arrow's back here.

Traffic is clear, and we proceed.

All right, so moving into the center left turning lane, to get in to one of the services, we simply move in between the two lines and wait for traffic to clear.

We got lots of traffic coming here, and we're centered in the lane, between the four lanes of traffic.

Positioned in the left-centre turning lane in preparation to turn left from a major road to a minor road.

On a 4-Lane Road, It's a 5th Lane

So there's actually kind of a fifth lane here that alternates between a center left turning lane and a left turning lane at the intersections with the other roadways.

The shared left turning center lane simply allows you to get into the services along this main thoroughfare and I suspect for most places that have these, that's the purpose of them, is to allow you access into the services along the thoroughfare.

Suicide Lanes

Now, you don't need to be too confused or worried about it because if there's a left turning vehicle coming from the other direction, they're going to be back a fair distance.

Wait until traffic clears from the other direction, and then proceed.

So we can see here, this is a shared left turning lane, we move right in here so we clear the lanes to facilitate traffic flow.

Two vehicle facing each other across an intersection when using the left centre turning lanes. These are why these are sometimes referred to as Suicide Lanes.

Wait for the pedestrians to move out of the way, and the truck, and then we make sure that our way is clear, and we proceed into the service industry, which is what these left center turning lanes, these center left turning lanes, call them the right thing here.

All right, and there's some center left turning lanes up here as well to facilitate flow of traffics for turning vehicles.

Get Your Vehicle Completely in the Lane

You can see that the SUV here didn't completely get into the turning lane correctly.

They're at an angle, therefore they're blocking the traffic behind them.

The Jig-Jog

You need to do a little jig-jog so that you get your vehicle straight into that center left turning lane.

So you're completely out of the other lanes of traffic and you're not blocking the other lanes of traffic and holding them up.

When using left centre turning lanes, it's important that your vehicle is completely in the lane. And if the approach lane is short, you'll have to do a jig-jog.

You saw the traffic there behind that vehicle that was trying to get around them, because the back corner of that vehicle was sticking out.

So here we know where we're going, we get right into the center left turning lane here, completely in the lane, that way we're not blocking other traffic.

Kal Tire - HQ is in Vernon, BC

Shoulder check, oncoming traffic has come to a stop, and we simply turn left to get into the industry, the service industry here, which is Kal Tire.

And the headquarters for Kal Tire is here in Vernon, British Columbia, and every night the Kal Tire jet flies over with the executives, doing their work.

Okay, so you see the pickup truck is completely in the center left turning lane.

Increase Traffic Flow

Therefore allowing other traffic to get by it and reducing congestion along this roadway, as cars make the left hand turn into the service industries.

And can I get in here?

Yup, there's nobody.

You want to shoulder check, nope, nope, nope, nope.

(laughs) I screwed up.

I'm going to be careful getting back out of here, because the other traffic is not going to stop.

So if that happens to you, or you get stuck out, make sure you shoulder check and you look, because there's lots of traffic coming up here behind me, and you might be able to see that in the GoPro.

Center left turning lane.

Oh this one actually turns into a turning lane, so know that it's going to alternate between center left turning lane and just a turning lane at a major thoroughfare, an intersection.

Other Drivers Will Misinterpret Your Actions

(laughs) She thought I let her out, when actually what happened was, there wasn't enough gap for me to turn.

Waiting at in the left centre turning lane, other driver could misinterpret your action and proceed before you.

Are you going?

No, I'm going.

(laughs) That's the other interesting thing: you have to be careful at those intersections, where people aren't really sure what they're doing.

Don't Go if the Traffic Situation is Iffy

And whether they're going or not, because they may think you're letting them in, when you're just not comfortable with the gap that's available, so.

That's okay.

Especially if you're a new driver, or you're just not comfortable, don't go.

Just let them go.

Wait until you feel comfortable with the gap, and that's one of the most important things when you're driving.

If you're not comfortable with the gap, don't go.

Social Driving & Peer Pressure

Just that simple, because if you get pressured by other people and other drivers then that's probably when you're going to have a crash, and you don't want to have a crash.

You want to work within your own abilities and your own skills and your own comfort level.

If You're Anxious, Work with a Mentor

Yeah, sometimes you have to be pushed outside your comfort level, but that's often done best when you're working with a driving instructor or you're working with a veteran driver or your mentor.

But their job is to also help you in case you do get into trouble, then they can intervene and help you out.

A pickup truck correctly positioned in the left centre turning lane, waiting to turn left from a major road into a business parking lot.

All right, I'm waiting for that big truck to get by me and make sure that he or she is in their lane, and then I get completely into the left turning lane, no traffic, shoulder check, and turn into the service industry here, which is this restaurant.

And we just drift right into the lane completely, wait for traffic to clear.

When we stop, other traffic can go by us.

They're not slowed down.

Shoulder check, and then turn left.

And that's all there is to it.


Quick review of center left turning lanes.

Often times it's an extra lane, that is reserved for turning vehicles that are turning left into the services along a main thoroughfare, and as well, the center left turning lane is going to alternate between a center left turning lane for vehicles coming in both directions, to just a single left turning lane on one side or the other of the road.

If there's an intersection, or main service industries there that you need access into.

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So that's the purpose of it, and its purpose is to facilitate traffic flow and to reduce congestion within urban areas.

That's essentially what these center left turning lanes are designed to do, and as we said, some people had some confusion about it, because they did put up a survey in the community tab there.

If you didn't see that survey, then head over to the community tab and put your answer in there and all of that information helps us out for sure, and again, thanks to the smart drivers that helped me out with this information, so I could give some clarification for this and give you some information about center left turning lanes.

Question for my smart drivers:

were you confused by center left turning lanes, and do you know what they are?

Leave a comment down in the comment section there.

All of that helps out the new drivers and the veteran drivers who are working to be crash-free.

If you like what you see here, share, subscribe, leave a comment down in the comment section.

As well, hit that thumbs up button.

Head over to the Smart Drive Test Website, Pass Your Road Test First Time, it's a course for new drivers to pass both your theory and your practical test.

You don't want to fail your road test, and have to show up to school the next day and tell your friends that you didn't pass.

So head over there.

Get that course.

If you don't pass first time, within 60 days, I'll give your money back, guaranteed, because we all know, failing a road test is a real drag.

I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Thanks very much for watching.

Good luck on your road test, and remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day! Bye now.


(energetic music) Yup, there's nobody you want to shoulder check, nope, nope, nope, nope.

(laughs) I screwed up.

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