Sometimes I ride in the middle of a right most lane that can go either straight or right. Sometimes I get honked at red light cause drivers want me to move so they can pass me and make right turn. Is it cool if I block the whole lane during red light? USA

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    Where are you? Rules and customs differ. Here we drive on the left, but our highway code tells drivers not to overtake just before turning off; taking the lane is a good way to encourage them to follow the rules even if it annoys a few. Your turn on right rule complicates matters though. I know what I'd try but there might be good reasons not to
    – Chris H
    Mar 5, 2021 at 8:48
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    If you are forced by the infrastructure to behave as a car would, then at a junction like this do what you would do in a car. You may have to be brave to hold your nerve against drivers who disagree, which is why "vehicular cycling" is not a long-term solution to inclusive mobility.
    – thosphor
    Mar 5, 2021 at 10:22
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    Clarifying - In the US, some locations permit a "free right turn on red light" so that traffic may pass through a red light as though it was green, Since they drive on the right, its the smallest turn, and the mirrored version of a left-turn for English Commonwealth and Japanese road users. I'm not aware of any other country that permits a turn through a red lightl; its much more common to have a green turning arrow light if that suits the intersection, or a "free turn" which is controlled by a Give Way/Yield sign not the lights.
    – Criggie
    Mar 5, 2021 at 11:05
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    @Criggie I wouldn't describe a right turn on red in the US as passing through as if it was a green light. I think slightly more accurate is that it permits treating a red light as a stop sign for the purposes of turning right.
    – GageMartin
    Mar 5, 2021 at 14:26
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    @GageMartin, it is a known fact (in some circles at least) that many people walking and cycling are forgotten by the drivers going right on red. So people from countries where this rule is not common see this as 'very dangerous'.
    – Willeke
    Mar 6, 2021 at 11:26

2 Answers 2


I do this regularly biking in the US. Taking the lane at an intersection reduces many dangers at intersections. If there was a car in the lane that was going straight the cars behind would also not be able to turn right on red. At the light, you are moving at exactly the same speed as a stopped car going straight and so there is really no reason for you to not use the same amount of space.

I am not a lawyer and the exact laws around biking vary between states in the US so this is not legal advice. Though for reference my state would require me to ride "as far to the right as is safe/reasonable" so I believe that my suggestions follow this.

Also as an aside, cars turning right on red is really dangerous and shouldn't be a normal thing.

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    I generally agree. I will get to the left of a straight/right lane to allow traffic to turn right on the inside, but I won't put myself in a position to be right-hooked.
    – Adam Rice
    Mar 5, 2021 at 17:31

At least in Austria and Germany the only situation where you can be required to drive on the left is when taking a left turn. (e.g. Austrian STVO: § 12. Einordnen)

Per default you have to drive as far right as is reasonable.

That being said, if it doesn’t endanger or inconvenience you, it doesn’t hurt to accommodate other driver’s needs.

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    Risking a right hook by encouraging a driver to pass immediately before turning doesn't seem to be a reasonable position to place yourself in, even if you're expecting to stop. IMO taking the lane is as far right as reasonable for safety.
    – Chris H
    Mar 5, 2021 at 11:26
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    @ChrisH I agree that drivers shouldn't be passing here. If the OP did want to let a car pass and turn here I would strongly encourage the OP to move to the left part of the lane so the car passes on the right and then turns which removes the danger of a right hook.
    – GageMartin
    Mar 5, 2021 at 14:28
  • It all depends on the legislation. In some places when making a left turn on a multi-lane road you must stop at the right side of the road, get off the bike, cross at the zebra crossing and continue your ride.
    – Carel
    Mar 5, 2021 at 18:20
  • @GageMartin: Yes, that’s what I had in mind. If the lane is wide enough to allow a car to pass on your right without endangering yourself. Similarly to taking a left turn on a wide intersection without separate left turning lane where you position yourself towards the middle of the road and cars who want to go straight ahead can pass you on your right. (all assuming right hand traffic)
    – Michael
    Mar 6, 2021 at 7:56
  • Per default you have to drive as far right as is reasonable. The usual word used is "practicable", which is distinctly different from "reasonable" or "practical". "Ride as far right as practicable" effectively means "ride to the right unless there is any reason that you might believe you need to not do so." If you can articulate a reason for not riding all the way to the right, you are riding "as far right as practicable". There's a reason that the word used is "practicable". Mar 6, 2021 at 12:18

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