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Why is it sometimes illegal to make a U-turn in New York?

A U-turn is a specific type of driving maneuver. It happens when a driver changes the direction of their vehicle while staying on the same road. For example, a driver may be traveling west on a street and may be unable to make a left-hand turn into a parking lot; to access the lot, the driver may elect to make a U-turn to get their vehicle pointing east and capable of making a right-hand turn into the desired lot.

U-turns are not always permissible on New York roads. A U-turn may be permissible at an intersection when such a message is posted through a sign and the driver gets a green left turn arrow. U-turns may also be permissible in places where no express consent is given, but there are specific places where U-turns are prohibited.

For example, a driver may not make a U-turn in a school zone. This is because it may not be possible for a driver to see what is happening behind them in the direction they intend to travel.

Additionally, a driver may not make a U-turn when approaching the top of a hill. A driver may not be able to see a vehicle coming in the opposite direction to safely make a U-turn.

U-turns can be legal but they can also be illegal when they may pose dangers to other drivers. To this end, New York drivers may be ticketed for traffic violations if they undertake U-turns in prohibited zones or parts of roadways.

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