WASHINGTON (ABC7) — A new year and a new law as DC road crews are installing no right turn on red signs at 100 intersections in the busiest sections of the nation’s capital.
“I think for safety perspective, it makes the most sense," said Josh Deyer, a cyclist. "I did get a ticket on my bike for turning right on red."
But now traffic engineers and AAA Mid-Atlantic warns this change will actually worsen traffic safety and create more gridlock.
“The street lights aren’t timed, clear to make a right turn, you make a right turn,” said Patricia Patton, a D.C. resident.
The change is occurring in the central business district, in and around school zones, and areas with high-pedestrian and cyclist volume.
The idea is to reduce crashes especially involving those on bikes and walking.
“You’ll create more crashes because you’ll create more rear-end collisions when pedestrians have the crosswalk,” said John Townsend, from AAA Mid-Atlantic.
According to DC Police statistics, 107,353 traffic crashes occurred in the District from 2013-15, yet making a right turn on red was a factor in only 55 of them.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) says the intersections were identified based on crash history, and how crowded they are.
Some experts worry that the new rule will create more rule breaking. For example, those turning right speeding up to beat the yellow.
“I don’t think it’s fair. As a D.C. resident, I’m used to making a right on red,” Kita Lee said.