Missouri bill: No stop for right on red

First 15 foot flags, and now this: Missouri Representative Bart Korman wants to eliminate the requirement to stop before making a right turn on red, and allow motorists to roll through a red light without stopping first.

Missouri Right On Red bill HB 2264

The Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo) Section 300.155 allows drivers to make a right turn at a red light after coming to a complete stop. Korman, who represents a portion of Missouri immediately west of St. Louis, wants to eliminate the stop requirement of RSMo 300.155. I think it’s especially precious that the language of the bill says the driver only needs to consider “the number of vehicles at the intersection in motion,” with no mention of other legitimate road users who are present.

Although 22% of right-turn-on-red collisions in Missouri are with pedestrians and cyclists, and most of these result in injury to the victim, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration deems right-turn-on-red “safe” because only a small proportion of pedestrian collisions happen during right-on-red. It’s a subjective value judgement that places the convenience of motorists over pedestrian convenience and lives.

Right-on-red creates a highly hostile environment for walkers, and pedestrians know to practice defensive walking and watch for scofflaw bozos who fail to look both ways and toward the sidewalk before illegally failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Korman’s proposal will only make things worse for those who walk along the public roads.

Korman is vice-chair of the Missouri House Transportation Committee, and this is his second attempt to add aggression to his state’s roads — he submitted a bill with identical language in last year’s legislative session. The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation opposed this earlier bill, which happily died in the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

You can read the full text of the bill and track HB 2264 here.

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