Question: When is it OK to make a U-turn? Britney, Parkland
Answer: Washington law is fairly lenient with regard to U-turns. It prohibits them only on curves or hills where your vehicle is not visible for at least 500 feet in either direction.
However, the law also says U-turns must be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic. Keep in mind that your sense of this might not be the same as that of the police officer watching you.
Washington State Patrol trooper Guy Gill adds that restrictions apply in many places. Some locations are posted with No U-turn signs. Those graveled connectors in the medians of freeways are off-limits. Also, some cities and towns have their own ordinances governing U-turns.
Ive seen a lot of collisions caused by U-turns over the years, Gill said. In most of those cases, drivers simply failed to yield the right of way to other vehicles either oncoming or vehicles coming up behind them.
Drivers need to also keep in mind road and weather conditions, time of day, traffic volumes, and possibilities of pedestrian traffic, he said. Good, attentive drivers should have no problem doing U-turns as long as theyre done safely and in accordance with the law.
Rob Carson: 253-597-8693