North Carolina, like states throughout the entire country, has experienced a dramatic rise in pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths over the last decade. This trend has prompted many municipalities to change their infrastructures and policies regarding pedestrians and bicyclists. However, the movement causing the most controversy is banning right turns on red.
Municipal leaders spurring the right-turn ban
The United States is one of the few countries worldwide that allows motors to turn right at a red light after they come to a complete stop. Political leaders in cities, such as Washington D.C, Ann Arbor, Chicago and San Francisco, have either banned or considered banning motorists from turning right at red lights in certain areas to reduce the possibility of auto accidents.
Not everyone agrees with this movement. The National Motorists Association, an advocacy organization for drivers, believes banning these turns to make roads safer is a fallacy. Various safety groups are also anticipating blowback from drivers if the bans are enacted, particularly in areas where bicyclists can perform an “Idaho Stop” and then proceed through an intersection if they feel it is safe to do so.
Catastrophic injuries frequently occur at intersections
Catastrophic injuries frequently accompany accidents occurring at intersections. Negligence is usually involved when motorists run red lights or don’t pay attention to their surroundings. When pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists are involved, they generally sustain more severe injuries because they don’t have the shell of a vehicle protecting them.
Multiple injuries suffered by pedestrians and cyclists often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation and sometimes result in disabilities. Payouts from insurance companies may not cover medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Those injured in accidents involving negligence may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries and other expenses while they recover.