Turning right at a red light may change with new WA house bill

Turning right at a red light has been a federal right in the United States since the 1970s. However, lawmakers in the Washington State Senate are now debating a new piece of legislation, that could change the rules and limit where drivers can turn right on red.

State Senator John Lovick is sponsoring Senate Bill 5514. The democrat from Snohomish County argues improving safety on our streets is paramount.

“This simple change would make intersections safer for children, seniors, and other pedestrians at a time when traffic violence is at a three-decade high,” said Lovick said.

If passed into law, Washington would become the first state in the nation to limit where you can turn right on red.

Drivers could no longer make the move within a thousand feet of a child care center, public park or playground, recreation center, library, public transit center, hospital, or senior center.

KIRO 7′s Lauren Donovan asked drivers and pedestrians in Seattle’s Phinney Ridge neighborhood to weigh in on the proposed legislation. The reactions were mixed.

“I think most people like right on red,” said driver Signe Roscoe. “I’m just a mover, I like right on red because I want to keep moving, I want things to keep flowing.”

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing,” said driver Kayse Hughlett. “I think people would have to get used to it and I think people that are going to be upset about it, they’re going to turn right on red anyway.”