Right on Red has to go

Letter sent to my congressional representative and two senators:

I have grown weary of the uncontrolled rodeo that driving in this area has become. One major contributor to this dangerous situation is the national requirement that states allow right turns on red signals by default unless a sign prohibits it.

The time has come to give this issue back to the states.

I know of no reason why this has to be a national regulation, forced on states on pain of losing federal transportation funding. The other law that was passed at the same time as the right-on-red regulation, the 55-mph national speed limit, is history. Right-on-red needs to be ascribed to the ash can of history as well. I don't understand why legislators from places far, far from here need to impose their views on New Yorkers. All of our large cities and suburbs, not just New York City, are too congested and populated to sustain right on red safely. Please introduce a bill as soon as possible to allow states and localities to decide for themselves if right on red is safe for them. If the people of Montana want right on red, they can have it-- and keep it to themselves. New Yorkers should be able to keep their streets safe without interference from people who don't live here.

Yours truly,

Andrew M. Saucci, Jr.

Update: 12/25/2018

Something also worth mentioning is that such a concept truly is archaic, more suitable for the 1940's when traffic signals were controlled strictly on a mechanical timer and nothing else. In most areas today, traffic signals are equipped either with pavement sensors or high-technology cameras that can see when a car is waiting. Particularly in low-traffic areas where people might have to wait to make a right turn, signals with sensors can change a signal almost immediately, practically eliminating the need for a "right-on-red" rule. In high-traffic areas, sensors reduce the time that cars have to wait on the main or "resting green" thoroughfare because they skip the side streets and left-turn lanes altogether when no one is waiting. Modern traffic signals laugh at ancient "right-on-red" rules-- one more reason to rid ourselves of them altogether. Let's start by eliminating the national highway funding requirement tied to right-on-red.

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