Can Florida drivers legally move into an intersection while they wait to make a turn?

Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve was asked, “Is it legal to go out into an intersection on a green light or a flashing yellow arrow and wait for it to be clear when making a left turn?”

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“This question reminds me of one we addressed a few months ago talking about blocking intersections. It is allowed to go out into an intersection prior to making your left turn as long as the traffic signals allow it. The problem occurs when a driver goes out into that intersection and now can’t complete their action because of some stopped traffic ahead,” Trooper Steve said.

He wants everyone to remember that you should not begin a traffic maneuver, such as a turn, unless you can finish it, “especially within an intersection.”

“A good example of a situation like this would be the intersection of westbound (Interstate 4) exiting at Lee Road. So often drivers go ahead and make that left on a green light but then when traffic begins to back up, they stack up in the intersection so that when the light changes they don’t get stuck there. But in return what are they doing? They are now stuck within that intersection causing a backup for other transitioning traffic,” Trooper Steve said.

“So, if you’re going to ease out into an intersection prior to making your left turn just understand one thing, if you get stuck within that intersection the violation falls on you. If you can remember to never ease out (into an intersection) unless you can finish the turn, maybe this will spread to other drivers also,” he added.

About the Authors:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.