The term "suicide lane" doesn't exactly conjure an image of safety. More aptly referred to as a “universal turn lane”, it is still a big time danger on the road unless used as intended.
For the most part, these lanes should be used for left turns only.
However, Arizona allows the universal turn lane to be used as a stopping point for cars to merge into their intended direction of traffic flow. However, the lane is NOT to be used as a “get up to speed” lane.
What about the daily drive reversible lanes on 7th Avenue and 7th Street in Phoenix? What are the rules here? These reversible lanes can be hazardous to navigate if you aren't well-versed in the rules of those roads.
Heck, even if you know exactly what you're doing, driving in the reverse lanes is somewhat unnerving, with cars whizzing past in the opposite direction just feet away with no barrier.
Here are the rules, as clearly displayed on the signs above the lane:
-6-9 a.m.: Southbound traffic can use the lane as a travel lane;
-4-6 p.m.: Northbound traffic can use the lane as a travel lane;
-At all other times, the lane is for left turns only (and per above, a merge point).
The lanes are not to be used for left turns during the 6-9 and 4-6 time frames, but that does not seem to stop people from doing so. Also, the existent of the lanes does not seem to deter people from stopping in the opposite way travel lane to make a turn, blocking traffic behind them.
Is this permissible? Well, per the City of Phoenix's website, making left turns into driveways and parking lots is permitted, with a clear zone and avoiding impeding the traffic flow. Again, these restrictions don’t seem to stop people from continuing to make left turns when and where they want. Often, car crashes occur. Be careful.
Do the Phoenix Police monitor? From my personal observation, not really. This should not give you leave to do what you want, it is still up to the discretion of the officer on patrol, but I have seen a good many people stop in the universal turn lane and the travel lanes, Phoenix Police in the area, and ignore the movement.
The final say: Use your own discretion, pay attention and be careful.