D.C. Council member Mary Cheh has introduced a bill that prohibits vehicles from turning right while at red lights and allows cyclists to travel without some hindrances.
Under Cheh’s piece, cyclists will be able to utilize red lights as stop signs, and stop signs can be treated as yield signs. The Ward 3 lawmaker’s legislation falls into the city’s Vision Zero program that has a goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024.
Cheh has introduced the bill as the District recorded 40 people killed in traffic crashes last year and so far, this year 11 pedestrians and three cyclists have met their demise under the same conditions, the Vision Zero website reported as of Saturday, WTOP reported.
The bill has been through the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, of which Cheh’s serves as the chair, and is set for consideration by the full council in September.
“Allowing cyclists and other riders to maintain momentum and move quickly through an intersection, while getting out ahead of traffic, reduces their exposure to traffic, making their ride more predictable and safer,” the council member wrote when introducing the legislation in February, WTOP reported.
The bill has been endorsed by Council members Christina Henderson (I-At Large), Janeese Lewis George (D-Ward 4), Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1) and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6). If the bill becomes law, the ban on turning on red lights starts on Jan. 1, 2025.