by Susan Mueller, CISR on Jul 2, 2014
To turn or NOT to turn? Turning right on red is allowed in MA. However after watching how people interpret and follow this rule, I know that a refresher is in order.
Basic rules- if there is no sign present (stating NO TURN ON RED) then MA allows a right turn on red AFTER A COMPLETE STOP. But wait a second... what about the walk light? Now that summer is here- lets look again before turning on red.
The rule states you must stop completely before turning on a red light. Furthermore, a vehicle has to wait for a pedestrian walk light before turning. Crossing Georgetown square everyday to get to the bank and mail receptacle, I watch cars turn right on red every day without stopping. Cars turn right on red while I am in the middle of crossing the street with an active walk light cycle. Some actually turning right on red, when I am only inches from their front bumper.
Safety is a priorty at Georgetown Insurance and we urge people to pay more attention. Stop completely before turning, and take a CLOSER look just below the traffic light- check out the status of walk cycle. If the walk signal light is white , counting down, flashing or any combination of these- it means the cycle is in progress. You may not turn if there are any pedestrians present, until they finish crossing.
And just to be clear, the rule says you MAY turn right on red, not HAVE to turn right on red. I have never seen a ticket for NOT turning right on red, have you? While it may seem inconvenient to wait, a driver is not required to take a right on red if they don't want to!
So PATIENCE drivers- first stop, then look for that walk light and be safe out there.
For more information on rules of the road visit: http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/dmanual/chapter_4.pdf
And as always feel free to visit our web site: http://www.georgetowninsurance.com/