Most cities around the country have "one-way" streets. This means the traffic flow is directed in one direction only. These streets are usually designated one-way in an attempt to move heavy traffic in a more efficient manner. Springfield has two primary streets that are one-way, Jefferson (southbound from Commercial to Grand) and Campbell (northbound from Grand to Commercial), and numerous alleys and driveways that are designated one-way.
The primary traffic violation that we encounter when investigating traffic crashes on one-way streets is drivers making left or right turns from the wrong lane. Both of these streets have multiple lanes for the flow of traffic. Generally, there is a left lane, a center lane, and a right lane. However, some areas only have two lanes, left and right. If you are traveling on one of these streets, it is imperative that you make your turns from the proper lane.
If you intend to make a left turn, you need to do so from the left lane. If you intend to turn right, do so from the right lane. If there is a center lane, it is a forward lane only. DO NOT TURN from the center lane. If you are in the center lane and you anticipate a left or right turn, you should move to the appropriate lane in advance of your anticipated turn. Turning from the proper lane will ensure that you are not involved in a collision with a vehicle to your right or left. Typically, drivers making improper turns collide with a vehicle that is lawfully traveling in the lane to their left or right. The offending driver does not see the other vehicle until they collide due to the other vehicle being in a "blind" spot.
The sign shown on the left will be posted on one-way streets. However, many private driveways that enter onto one-way streets do not have signs warning drivers that they are entering a one-way street. There are three "clues" that will help drivers identify one-way streets:
1) The striping on one-way streets is typically white instead of yellow.
2) Vehicles on one-way streets can usually park on either side of the roadway (where allowed), facing in the direction that traffic flows.
3) Watch for traffic signs on the sides of the roadway. If they all face away from you and you can’t read them, bells and whistles should be going off in your head.
Bottom line, drivers must be cognizant of what is going on around them and be aware of their surroundings. I hope these tips will make your motoring experience a little easier when navigating Springfield’s roadways.