Berkeley Wants to Ban Right Turns on Red
Thanks to SF Gate for sharing the news that Berkeley may be putting an end to right turns on red. A new proposal was recently approved to outlaw right turns on red lights citywide.
Being able to turn right on red is a nearly uniquely American rule; it’s illegal in other most other countries. During the 1970s fuel crisis, the majority of states permitted the maneuver as a gas-saving measure. While right turns on red are legal in every state, they are forbidden in New York City, and a recent law in Washington, D.C., will prohibit them by 2025.
San Francisco also recently implemented the ban on 50 intersections in the Tenderloin. A preliminary analysis of the new rule has shown a reduction in near-collisions between vehicles and pedestrians. SFMTA’s analysis shows that prohibiting turns on red is a low-cost measure that can help keep crosswalks clear and reduce close calls.
The measure which was initially approved to help save time and gas has been largely overstated, especially as more vehicles go electric. Vehicles only save between 1 and 4.6 seconds of time are saved when turning right on red.
A final decision will reach in the coming weeks.