Legalities, a weekly column that appears in the Help section of the Southern Illinoisan, is a free service of the Self Help Legal Center. You can visit the Southern Illinoisan website at:

Q: I know that in certain places in Illinois, it is legal to turn "right on red." My question is, can you turn left on red? My wife says yes. I say no. We have dinner riding on your answer.

A: Start making those reservations as dinner is on you.

In certain instances, it is permissible in Illinois to turn left on a red light. According to the Rules of the Road handbook published by the Illinois Secretary of State, as long as the following five conditions exist, you can turn "left on red."

First, there can't be a posted sign prohibiting the turn. For example, a sign that says "no turns on red," "no left turns," or of course, "no left turns on red."

Second, the driver has to be driving on a one-way street before they make the turn.

Third, the street the person wants to turn onto has to be another one-way street.

Fourth, the traffic on the street the person wants to turn onto has to be moving left.

Finally, and most importantly, the person making the left turn on red must give the right-of-way to all other pedestrians and traffic and must be able to make the turn safely.

As long as these conditions exist, go ahead and make that turn.

Do you have a legal question? Write us at Self Help Legal Center, SIU School of Law, Mailcode 6804, Carbondale, Illinois or e-mail us at Not all questions will be answered and may be edited for space or content.

Legalities is written by the Self Help Legal Center, a public service of the SIU School of Law. The Self Help Legal Center cannot provide legal representation. It can, however, help you find the answer to your legal problem. This column is for general legal information purposes only and the advice given in this column may not apply to your situation. For specific legal advice about your situation, you should consult an attorney licensed to practice in Illinois. This column is not meant to give legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.