Column: Is turning right on a red light your California birthright? Absolutely not! You’re not entitled to any special license plate because you look like John Wayne or Elvis Presley or whoever you’re trying to turn in the right lane, and there’s no point in turning the corner into a lane unless you stop to back up into your lane to make room for someone who gets a little too close.
By the way, there’s nothing wrong with turning right on a green light either! If you’re in a no-passing area, for example, and you’re not sure whether a light is red or green, you have the right to back up over someone who gets too close – as long as you don’t actually run them down.
So let’s say you’re in the right lane and you see a car go by. You turn into the parking lot to back up into the next lane and maybe the next one, and you get too close to the car in the first lane. But it turns out to be a black Mercedes and you’re in a no-passing zone. The police or the fire department will come and tell you to drive away from the car or you’re in big trouble, and you go to jail for assaulting the police officer or the fireman who tried to help you.
Well, the only thing you’re guilty of is driving a car recklessly, but that’s not a crime. Driving recklessly might get you into some serious trouble, but it doesn’t get you special license plate rights. It certainly doesn’t get you a special right to turn right whenever you want to. At least your neighbors don’t expect you to pull over, stop, put on your brakes and turn right whenever you want to.
What’s your California birthright, then? Nothing! You didn’t get it because you looked white or black or you were the first person in your family to go to college or because you look like George Lucas. But your California birth