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At some point in nearly everyone's driving experience the need will arise to turn around and go in the opposite direction. Making a U-turn may seem like the most convenient option to reverse your direction of travel, but it poses special dangers to you and to others not only from a safety standpoint but also in terms of increasing your risk of being cited for a traffic violation. Here are some specific things to remember to minimize the risk of being pulled over for making an illegal U-turn.

Never make a U-turn on a limited access expressway, such as an interstate highway. This is true even if you see an access pathway connecting to the highway that goes in the opposite direction. Always use an off-ramp to leave the expressway before turning around.

Never make a U-turn where a "No U-turn" sign is posted, even if no other vehicles are visible and it seems safe to do so.

Never make a U-turn if the physical characteristics of the road make it impossible for you to see other vehicles up to 500 feet away, such as near the top of the hill, or at a curve. If you cannot see another vehicle up to 500 feet away, it follows that the other vehicle cannot see you from the same distance, and that would make your U-turn illegal.

Never make a U-turn in a business district of New York City. A business district is defined as any place adjacent to and including the highway where buildings are used for business or industrial purposes within 600 feet of the highway, when the combined frontages of such buildings amount to 300 feet either on one side of the road or collectively on both sides of the road.

If you have been cited for making an illegal U-turn in New York generally and in New York City in particular, consult with a traffic ticket attorney before paying your ticket. Depending upon the circumstances, it may be possible to avoid or minimize fines or other legal consequences that will ensue if you mail in that payment.

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