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Old 11th July 2011, 11:52   #1
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Default Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

According to my understanding of the Traffic Rules.

Wherever, the Left Turn has to be made only after getting the signal therre should be a board quoting "NO FREE LEFT"(NFL). Correct me if I am wrong.
But nowadays I am not seeing any such boards at all, and still people wait for the signal to Turn left, while few just go ahead and take a left turn.

I was caught by a TC in Bangalore recently, I was arguing my point saying there is no such board then how can he claim that its a NFL.
But he kept on insisting that the turn was a NFL and finally I had to give up an pay up the fine.

My question:
1. Is my assumption on the NFL wrong?
2. If it doesnt require board, how is a new comer to the area supposed to know if the Left is Free or not?
3. Looking at the signal and guessing is not the option, as it would be off anyway.

Please help me understand what the Traffic Rules quotes



Mods: not sure if I had to post it in Street experience, since the discussion is mainly with the rules in regard to NFL thats why posted it here.
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:01   #2
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

Some places have the boards and some dont. Some intersections have a left arrow indicating that you could take a free left turn. I guess unless there is a arrow or the policeman tells you to keep moving, you should not take a turn.
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:03   #3
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

As per my understanding, if the traffic lights on your right (heading in the same direction of your free left) is green, then there is no free left. All other times the left is free.
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:04   #4
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

I don't know if what you are saying is the case, but it's safer to assume that something is prohibited unless you have evidence to the contrary. So in your case if there was no board indicating NFL or lack of it, you should assume the worst, i.e. NFL and behave accordingly. It's better to be safer than sorry.
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:08   #5
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
According to my understanding of the Traffic Rules.

Wherever, the Left Turn has to be made only after getting the signal therre should be a board quoting "NO FREE LEFT"(NFL). Correct me if I am wrong.
But nowadays I am not seeing any such boards at all, and still people wait for the signal to Turn left, while few just go ahead and take a left turn.

I was caught by a TC in Bangalore recently, I was arguing my point saying there is no such board then how can he claim that its a NFL.
But he kept on insisting that the turn was a NFL and finally I had to give up an pay up the fine.

My question:
1. Is my assumption on the NFL wrong?
2. If it doesnt require board, how is a new comer to the area supposed to know if the Left is Free or not?
3. Looking at the signal and guessing is not the option, as it would be off anyway.

Please help me understand what the Traffic Rules quotes



Mods: not sure if I had to post it in Street experience, since the discussion is mainly with the rules in regard to NFL thats why posted it here.
In Chandigarh, if there are no slip roads for the left turn then it is not a free left, unless it is a roundabout sans traffic lights. Also, if you miss a slip road you can be stopped for taking a left on the main road. I have argued once on this with a cop as there was no way to know this, but he said my assumption is wrong and the left turn is NOT free if there is no marking.
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:09   #6
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

I dont seem to recall any Left turn in Delhi which is not free. People who have to go straight or turn right, inadvertently blocking your free left lane is a different thing though. But in Bangalore at a lot of places there are no free lefts. So after trying to figure out many times which ones are free and vice versa, in the end I just started stopping at most of them.

I feel its city specific.
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:10   #7
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Please help me understand what the Traffic Rules quotes
Every time I put my right indicator to turn right, I track any biker movement to my right to overtake. You know why? because some people never studied traffic rules to get a license and thinks that right signal is an indication to overtake.

Bottom line is, you need to adjust to the local flavors of the rule. If all vehicles on the left lane are standing without honking, even when there is no signal that indicates "No free Left", it just means that they are aware of cops right after the turn to catch you. Now, have you ever tried teaching rules to cops? Good luck
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:11   #8
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

At least in Chennai, I have talked to policemen and they say that unless there is a "No Free Left" board, it is a free left.

But I have also seen some signals where there is no "No free left" board but there is a signal which indicates left. I take a free left if

1. There is no "No free left" board (or)
2. There is no signal which is present specifically for indicating green for a left turn

Else I wait. Which becomes a pain as no one bothers even if there is a board
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:14   #9
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

By default there are no 'free left'. If there is, it will be specified
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:15   #10
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

Places / turnings where there is a signal (Red / Green) for taking left turn, one should wait there for his / her turn i.e. let the signal green and then move. It is not possible to have boards on every such crossings.

One should carefully watch the signals:

Main Signal - It will have one extra Green light for Left Turn on the main signal (LHS of the Green light for going Straight or taking Right Turn)

Left Turn Signal - A small independent pole standing on the Left hand Side of the road. Clearly visible while taking left turn. It will have all the three lights (Red, Yellow and Green). If the yellow light on this signal pole is blinking then its a left turn free.

Cheers!
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:25   #11
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

The govt changing rules ? Traffic rules ? Let it first change it stripes !:P

Yes - there is no sure shot way of knowing if a free left is available. So if there are cars turning right or coming straight in the direction you plan to turn left, wait for them to pass till their signals turn red. Then you are safe to go. I have never faced an issue when I do this.

But signaling systems and direction boards and indicator boards remain a weak area in this country.
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:46   #12
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

I have seen "No Free Left" boards specifically at places which makes me think that Free Left Turns are "by default". But then we need to admit two things! 1. Ours is not a country where rules are followed to the core. 2. I don't think we have a standard process followed / nor all the cops have a proper idea of rules. They just bend it at their will.

Also when we go to some new places, we don't have proper signaling / sign boards which leads to confusion and most of the times, we just are lucky to get out of mistakes which are committed un-intentionally. You were not lucky this day.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 11th July 2011 at 12:57.
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Old 11th July 2011, 12:50   #13
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

Quote:
Originally Posted by normally_crazy View Post
But signaling systems and direction boards and indicator boards remain a weak area in this country.
+1.

Does a blinking yellow arrow pointing to the left not mean that its a free left turn ? I think it does, but then during the complete cycle at say a 4 way junction, the yellow signal suddenly stops flashing when the signal turns green for the traffic coming from your front and right. This happens at a lot of places in Bombay.

What I am trying to say is that if the traffic regulators are going to stop the left turn for some time during the cycle, why not put a normal green arrow ? The blinking yellow creates a lot of unnecessary confusion. I am of the opinion that if there is a yellow arrow, it should mean that the left turn is free at all time, ofcourse yielding to traffic.

Two examples that instantly came to my mind are (where a free left at all times should be allowed):

1. The junction in front of Bisleri, on the WEH below the Andheri flyover.
2. The junction at Gandhinagar, below JVLR.

Regards,
Aalok
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Old 11th July 2011, 13:12   #14
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

I have seen left turns with green arrows, I have seen left turns with blinking amber arrows. So I think it's not consistent.
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Old 11th July 2011, 13:21   #15
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Default Re: Did govt change the "No Free Left" Rule, off late

Quote:
My question:
1. Is my assumption on the NFL wrong?
2. If it doesnt require board, how is a new comer to the area supposed to know if the Left is Free or not?
3. Looking at the signal and guessing is not the option, as it would be off anyway.
I think you are right on this. However there are certain cases where the Traffic Police sometimes harras the drivers (even I faced simillar problems in BLR).

Honestly after paying 100/- fine twice, I made a rule for myself -
(a) If there's no explicit signal to take turn (also there's no FLT board), I do stop and wait.
(b) If the Traffic Police asks me to go, I start.
(c) sometimes people keep honking from behind. I try to give them side and let them go first. And if I see many cars (I dont believe in the two wheelers, autos in this case. :( ) are going, then even I move on.

Last edited by musafir_blr : 11th July 2011 at 13:22.
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