Should Turning Right on Red Lights be Illegal?

January 13, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Black Traffic LightThe roads in Ontario are deadly for pedestrians and cyclists, with more cars striking them annually.

 The Region of Waterloo is preparing to launch a pilot project aimed at restricting right turns on a red light. This pilot project is aimed directly at keeping pedestrians and cyclists safer in intersections. Pedestrians are struck frequently by cars turning right on red lights as are cyclists.

The pilot project will be in effect at three intersections Hespeler Road and Bishop Street Cambridge, University West and Albert Street Waterloo, and Hespeler Road at Munch in Cambridge. Statistics will be collected on all crashes. All right turns on red will be restricted.

Currently in Ontario right turns on reds are permitted after a full stop unless posted otherwise. In Quebec right turns on red are prohibited on the Island of Montreal, as well as in all of Europe.

Currently pedestrians have the right of way when the walk signal appears in a marked crosswalk, or if there is no pedestrian traffic light, when the traffic light is green.

In a dated study which examined the changeover period between no right turns on red’ and permitting them in 1980 across America there was a significant increase in pedestrian and bicycle strikes involving right turning vehicles at red lights. The increases ranged from 40%-107% increases depending on the state. While the study is dated, it captures a point in time of the transition and the numbers should still be relevant today.

It is time that we begin making the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists, particularly in crosswalks where they should be safe.




Posted under Accident Benefit News, Automobile Accident Benefits, Bicycle Accidents, Car Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents

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