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It's one of the most divisive questions raised by modern man. It cuts right to the core of our society and the principles we struggle to uphold. It goes like this:

At the intersection of two one-way streets, where traffic on the cross street heads left, is it lawful to make a left turn at a red light?

In an unofficial BUFFALO Magazine poll, four respondents said yes, it is lawful to make the turn. But an overwhelming nine respondents said no, adding that they deplore such an action. A person in our office says he regularly gestures to such motorists in a manner that indicates disapproval.

But BUFFALO did some research on the left-on-red, and, as it turns out, it's quite legal. The law went into effect Jan. 1, 1981, shortly after the right-on-red was legalized.

"It's not a law that we publicize too well," says Buffalo Police Officer Edward F. Leszkowicz of the Traffic Bureau, whom we thank for helping us publicize the law here.

Leszkowicz says drivers tend to abuse both the right-on-red and the left-on-red by rolling through the signal rather than stopping to check for traffic.

But we hope Leszkowicz will forgive us for the publicity, because after all, the public has a right to know.

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