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City-County Council votes to pass on ‘No Turn on Red’ bans

Latest: The “No Turn on Red” proposals were passed by Indianapolis City-County Council members during Monday evening’s meeting.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Turning right on red has become a part of driving DNA, but the Indianapolis City-County Council is attempting to modify our driving genetic makeup by banning right turns on red in most of the downtown area. 

Indianapolis already prohibits right turns on red at several intersections in the Mile Square. The proposal, up for its third and final reading in Monday night’s council meeting, would ban any turns on red in the same area.

According to Council Member Zach Adamson, the bans address a fraction of a much bigger issue.  

“This is an overall traffic safety issue that we are seeing. We are seeing people driving at high rates of speed, we are seeing people blow through stops signs and red lights and a lot of these things are resulting in not just injuries to people crossing the streets, but also injury to people driving their cars, and enormous amounts of personal and public property damage,” said Adamson.  

I-Team 8 reported in early May statistics maintained by a group called the Indianapolis Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Crisis. The data showed that since January 1, 11 pedestrians have been killed and another 187 have been hit by vehicles and survived.

So far, in the first five days of June, 8 pedestrians have been hit and all have survived. 

The proposal under consideration has faced challenges from Indiana lawmakers. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law a bill that prohibits the city of Indianapolis from enacting any new bans on right turns on red. The law will go into effect on July 1.

Adamson believes the General Assembly should leave local traffic control to those that live in the city.

“I think what is difficult for Marion County residents to swallow is whether you support the No Turn on Red ban or not, a governmental body that cannot be held accountable for making local policy, but the city residents can hold the City Council accountable,” said Adamson. 

If the council passes the No Turn on Red ban, enforcement will not happen overnight. The Department of Public Works will have to install new signs at affected intersections. It is unsure how many intersections will have the new signs or when they will go up.

If the council passes this ordinance and the mayor signs it, the question becomes does the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department have the manpower and the time to enforce the ordinance.