EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked Wess Winn, community services officer and crime prevention coordinator with the Waxahachie Police Department to write a weekly column in an effort to answer many of the law enforcement-related questions posed by our readers. Here’s this week’s column.
Police Beat: When is it legal to make a U-turn on a public street.
There is no state transportation law that specifically deals with U-turns but we do have a city ordinance which prevents vehicles making U-turns in certain areas.
The state law on turning basically says if you turn; make sure you can do it safely.
Many citizens do not realize that city’s enact ordinances that apply specifically to that city, in order to make it a safer place. The only officers who can enforce these or the officers who work for that specific city, which means a state trooper or a sheriff’s deputy, could not enforce a city of Waxahachie ordinance.
Which brings us to section 32-187 that states a driver of any vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any street in a business district or at any intersection controlled by traffic lights and shall not upon any other street or intersection so turn a vehicle unless such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.
Many portions of the major streets (U.S. Highway 77, U.S. Business 287, Brown Street, etc…) within the Waxahachie city limits are in considered in a business districts.
It is always best to turn around using a side street.
If you have a Police Beat question for Officer Wess Winn, he may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-937-9940, Ext. 211. Look for your questions to be answered here in the Waxahachie Daily Light every Sunday or listen to officer Winn’s show on KBEC Radio AM 1390 at 9 a.m. every Monday.