Traffic regulations play a vital role in maintaining road safety in Minnesota. That includes safety for motorists and pedestrians. One regulation that can undermine pedestrian safety is the right-turn-on-red law.
Studies show that over 1,000 people were killed in right-turn-on-red accidents, and half of those people were pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists. Right turns on red can undermine pedestrian safety in several ways. Here are three ways that right turn on red laws can increase the risk of pedestrian deaths.
Confusion at intersections
Right turns at red lights can increase confusion at intersections. When a motorist turns right on a red light, it increases congestion and interferes with the flow of traffic. It also takes the focus off pedestrians who might be trying to cross the street. Unfortunately, this often results in the wrongful death of numerous pedestrians.
Running red lights
When right turns on red lights are legal, motorists often rush to make their turns. Unfortunately, that can result in an increase in running red lights. When that happens, pedestrians often pay the price when motorists run red lights. Pedestrian safety increases when right turns on red are banned.
Pedestrians rely on right-of-way laws to keep them safe when crossing the street. When the lights are in their favor, pedestrians feel safe crossing the street. Unfortunately, when motorists can make right turns at red lights, they don’t always pay attention to the crosswalk lights. That lack of attention increases the risk that pedestrians will sustain fatal injuries when using crosswalks.
Pedestrians face an increased risk of accidents and injuries wherever right turns at red lights are legal. Unfortunately, these accidents often result in wrongful death events.