In America, the U-turn is a common, accepted manuver. It’s so common in fact that they have signs expressly encouraging you to doÂ u-turn and lanes specifically designed for that purpose.
We New Zealanders find this an hilarious thing because in our country, the U-turn is right up there with peeing in someone else’s tea (or your own tea for that matter). You just don’t do it. It’s just not acceptable behaviour on the roads. To the extent that there are signs saying precisely the opposite: “no u-turn”, even when a u-turn is precisely the most logical course of action. Say, for example, you’ve gone over the harbour bridge by mistake, which happens more frequently than we’d like to admit.
Well, New Zealand has launched into the 21st century with what I believe to be the first (for our country) U-turn traffic light. Feast your eyes! Yes, it’s true, that sign on the right is actually a “U-turn” traffic light, in New Zealand (East Tamaki, to be precise). Below are images of the sign in action: