On most streets in Oklahoma and throughout the country, it is legal to make a right turn at a red light. However, some community leaders are considering banning or limiting the practices in areas that have high levels of traffic. The belief is that prohibiting right turns at red lights will reduce the number of collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians.
The origins of right on red
During the 1970s, the United States was in the midst of an energy crisis, which resulted in a number of steps being taken in an effort to conserve fuel. One of these steps was to pressure states into allowing drivers to turn right on red in an effort to keep vehicle idling to a minimum. This was also why the maximum speed limit on most highways was 55 miles per hour during the latter part of the 20th century.
What the stats say
Those who believe in ending right turns at red lights say that it is the result of misguided policies and should be abolished. They point to a study from the Governors Highway Safety Association that found that more than 7,500 pedestrians were hit by drivers making right turns at red lights. However, critics point to another study that showed such crashes resulted in a single pedestrian wrongful death in California every two years between 2011 and 2019.
If you are struck by a vehicle, you may be entitled to reimbursement for medical bills and other costs incurred because of a defendant’s reckless activities. If you are killed in a crash caused by a negligent driver, your estate may file a wrongful death suit.