Two-way Left Turn Lanes in Delaware

QUIZ QUESTION: Which of the vehicles in the picture below are traveling in the correct direction? The correct answer is simple… isn’t it?

ANSWER: 1, 2 & 3. WHY? Because the YELLOW PAVEMENT LINE MARKING is on the driver’s side of vehicles. The YELLOW PAVEMENT LINE MARKING (solid or broken) indicates opposite direction traffic traveling on the other side of the line. Unfortunately, the principle we learned in previously also applies to PAVEMENT LINE MARKINGS — “THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES”: see picture below.

In the above picture the center lane that includes two SOLID YELLOW PAVEMENT LINE MARKINGS and two BROKEN YELLOW LINE MARKINGS is called a TWO-WAY LEFT-TURN LANE and/or a SHARED CENTER LANE. This lane is reserved for opposing direction left-turning traffic. Entering this lane should be delayed until you are approaching your turning point. Unfortunately there are drivers who take advantage of this empty turn lane and enter early (similar to entering a right-turn lane early from the shoulder) thereby creating a possible hazard for the driver planning to enter at the normal entry point.


1. A vehicle that is positioned in the TWO-WAY LEFT-TURN LANE will have YELLOW PAVEMENT LINE MARKINGS on both the left and right. Therefore, the TWO-WAY LEFT-TURN LANE is an exception to the rule — the YELLOW LINE is only on your left and never on your right.

2. If a full stop is required prior to commencing your turn due to oncoming opposite direction traffic, keep your wheels facing straight. This “wheels straight left-turning technique” should be practiced whenever making a left-turn following a full stop due to oncoming traffic. This helps to defend you from being pushed into oncoming traffic from a rear-end collision.

3. Some Delaware motorists use the TWO-WAY LEFT-TURN LANE to exit to the right. When making a left-turn from a cross intersection they will enter the TWO-WAY LEFT-TURN LANE and wait for an opening to change lanes into the through lane on the right. While “The D Team” is unable to locate any documentation relevant to the TWO-WAY LEFT TURN LANE in Delaware Law, all motorists should be aware of the below sign that appears on the side of the road in areas where the TWO-WAY LEFT TURN LANE exists.

Delaware Defensive Driving Course