WASHINGTON, D.C. (7News) — D.C. City Council Tuesday unanimously advanced a bill that will ban turning right on red lights in the District beginning in 2025.
The bill was approved unanimously in the first reading.
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The bill would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025, at all signalized intersections, "unless DDOT proactively determines that allowing right on red is the safer option, which may be the case in some circumstances," the Council wrote.
Bicyclists rallied in July at the Wilson building in D.C. and protested for more safety on city streets, and a stricter enforcement of Mayor Bowser's Vision Zero safety plan.
"We're on borrowed time right now," said Vision Zero Advocate Rachel Maisler. "Every single bicyclist here is on borrowed time. I almost got killed twice riding down here."
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In 2015, Bowser established D.C.’s Vision Zero program which set the goal that, by 2024, D.C. will “reach zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers of its transportation system through more effective use of data, education, enforcement, and engineering.”
Since the establishment of this goal, annual traffic fatalities have increased from 26 in 2015 to 40 in 2021. Twenty of the 40 fatalities in 2021 were pedestrians and bike riders.
The bill will have an impact on bike safety, with some changes to how bicyclists will handle both stop signs and stop lights.
The bill also included a provision that allows bikes or other riders (such as those using scooters or personal mobility devices) to safely proceed through a stop sign without coming to a complete stop. It also allows bicyclists to safely proceed through a red light after coming to a complete stop, making sure there is no immediate hazard, then proceeding through the intersection.
You can read the full bill below:
Since the establishment of the mayor's Vision Zero goal, annual traffic fatalities have increased from 26 in 2015 to 40 in 2021. Twenty of the 40 fatalities in 2021 were pedestrians (17) and bike riders.