The right-turn-on-red traffic signal, once used only in the western states, is now permitted in some form in all but one state and the District of Columbia. However, its adoption was slow primarily because of the concern over its safety aspects. As part of a comprehensive study for the Federal Highway Administration, six separate studies on accidents associated with right turn on red were conducted in Virginia and Colorado and in the cities of Denver, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. In Virginia and Chicago before-and after studies were performed; in the other locations records were analyzed to determine both the number of accidents and the causes. From the results of the accident analyses, it appears that the accidents related to right turn on red are very infrequent compared with all intersection accidents (0.4 percent versus 3.3 percent). The Chicago and Virginia studies do not reveal a statistically significant increase in intersection accidents, nor do accidents related to right turn on red appear to be less severe than the average intersection accident; no fatalities were found in the entire accident data base. The general conclusion is that right turn on red does not significantly degrade the safety of signalized intersection traffic operation. /Author/

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    • Publication of this paper sponsored by Committee on Traffic Control Devices. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Authors:
    • McGee, Hugh W
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1977

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 66-75
  • Monograph Title: Highway capacity, traffic flow, and traffic control devices
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00183546
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026733
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1978 12:00AM