Toronto considering banning turning right at red lights throughout the city

Dec 15 2020, 11:25 am

Toronto City Council is reviewing a report on Wednesday to ban turning right at red lights at 15 more intersections.

The report from the General Manager of Transportation Services, to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, is being reviewed by City Council tomorrow.

It provides updates on road safety, which includes prohibiting right-turn-on-red (RTOR) movements at one location, with an additional 14 locations tentatively identified for future implementation.

“Right turn on red prohibitions may improve safety for some pedestrians and cyclists at intersections by restricting vehicles facing a red signal from turning right across the path of pedestrians or cyclists having the right-of-way,” the report said.

It notes that historically about 2% of serious injury or fatal collisions with pedestrians and 4% of serious injury or fatal collisions with cyclists have been with right-turning vehicles turning on a red signal.

“As part of Vision Zero 2.0 Road Safety Plan, Transportation Services has begun assessing [the] strategic implementation of RTOR prohibitions. This includes an assessment of historical collision patterns and conflicts between right-turning vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists in addition to prioritizing intersections with geometric and operational conditions that typically lead to conflicts between right-turning drivers and vulnerable road users,” the report outlined.

When looking at which intersections are being considered staff looked at locations with a historic trend of collisions or conflicts between people driving and walking or cycling observed during a RTOR movement.

Also, skewed intersections where sightline limitations may result in the inability to make right-turn movements safely while noticing and reacting to the presence of crossing vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists.

Staff also evaluated intersections with RTOR movements that could potentially conflict with opposing dual left-turn movements without sufficient receiving lanes to separate the two movements.

Transportation Services is recommending RTOR prohibitions at about 15 intersections across the city and to evaluate the results of the implementation before expanding out to a larger roll-out.

Staff will be evaluating the safety impact of RTOR restrictions in various scenarios, including the one noted above. Results of the evaluation will help determine conditions when RTOR restrictions are most effective to inform future recommendations for RTOR restrictions.

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