I’m sure that there has been a time in your life where you have heard at least 100 different fallacies about the legality of the “Michigan left”. Today I am going to put these to an end. I am also going to uncover the real truth about u-turns. Here are the top two FAQ’s about Michigan driving law.
Question: “I have a question regarding a turn around on a road or “ Michigan left”.
I know you can turn left onto the one way at a turn around, but is it illegal to go straight thru to a driveway across one way traffic?
Answer: Many people seem to be confused when it comes to what has been termed a “Michigan Left”. The following two graphics depict similar intersection and show the proper and improper use of a turnaround.
PROPER use of a turnaround or “Michigan Left”.
The driver is traveling east on street A and wants to make a left turn to the north onto street B but there are no left turns allowed at the intersection. Traveling through the intersection and using the turnaround, the driver approaches the steady red light and makes a left on red when traffic permits. The driver then proceeds west on street A and makes a right turn to the north onto Street B.
IMPROPER left turn on red.
The driver is eastbound on street A and wants to turn left onto street C. When the driver enters the turnaround and stops at the steady red signal they cannot proceed straight through (north) onto Street C until the signal turns green.
Question: Are U-turns legal in Michigan ?
Answer: Under state law and in the absence of a traffic control device prohibiting same, the maneuver may be completed as long as it can be done in safety, is not careless or reckless, and gives way to other traffic that have the right-of-way. This is outside of a city, village, or township that has adopted the Uniform Traffic Code.
Within the boundaries of any city, village, or township, that has adopted the Uniform Traffic Code, rule 434 states…
“R 28.1434 Rule 434. Limitations on turning around; violation as civil infraction.
(1) The driver of any vehicle shall not turn the vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction on any
street in a business district and shall not, on any other street, so turn a vehicle unless the movement can
be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.
(2) A person who violates this rule is responsible for a civil infraction.”
Under the UTC the requirement of whether or not there must be a sign posted prohibiting u-turns is debatable. Some say yes and some say no. The final determination will be up to the individual court.