Trooper: Turning Lanes For Left Turns ONLY

center turn lane onlySheldon, Iowa — Iowa State Patrol Safety Education Officer Vince Kurtz is teaching people the appropriate use of a center turning lane.

Kurtz says he received a question recently from a citizen about the proper use of a center turning lane, like the ones used in several communities in the area, including the new alignment of Highway 18 through Sheldon, Highway 10 through Orange City and Highway 75 through Sioux Center, among others. Kurtz says the citizen says that he or she has seen drivers use it as a passing lane to go around someone making a right turn, or as a merging lane for cars turning onto that street if the regular lane is occupied. They pull out into the center lane and then merge over into the driving lane when they can do so.

Kurtz says he’s heard the questions a lot in Sheldon.

He says the violation would be “Failure To Obey A Traffic Control Device,” and not only is it a large fine, it’s also quite a dangerous thing to do.

He says a white rectangular sign will usually read something to the effect of ‘CENTER TURN LANE ONLY’ or ‘CENTER TURN LANE’. He says solid and dotted yellow lines will border this lane, indicating no passing. White arrows will also be painted in the middle of these lanes to indicate that it is only to be used for turning.

If you have a question for Trooper Kurtz, you can tweet them to him using his Twitter handle of @TrooperKurtz, or call the Iowa State Patrol post in Spencer.

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