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Amherst lawmaker’s bill would expand right-on-red to any direction

Written by  Steve Fuller Wednesday, April 03, 2013 at 8:45 am
Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) is sponsoring a bill that would allow drivers to proceed straight through or turn left after stopping at a red light. Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) is sponsoring a bill that would allow drivers to proceed straight through or turn left after stopping at a red light.

ELLSWORTH — Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) is sponsoring LD 1075, which he calls the “red light bill.”

As summarized on the state’s website, LD 1075 would allow “a vehicle to proceed straight through or turn right or left after stopping at a red light if conditions allow and if there is no sign indicating it is prohibited.”

State law currently allows drivers to turn right at a red light as long as there is no sign prohibiting it and as long as drivers yield to pedestrians or vehicles that have the right of way.

“It will save time, it will save gas and it will reduce air pollution,” Lockman said.

Stephen Landry, assistant state traffic engineer with the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT), offered his “personal, professional opinion” that the bill would encourage people to make riskier decisions at red lights.

Landry said in 2010 and 2011, there were 602 crashes in Maine where a driver ran a red light.

LD 1075 has been referred to the Legislature’s Transportation Committee. A public hearing has been set for Tuesday, April 9, at 1 p.m. in Room 126 at the State House.

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Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller covers Ellsworth, Mariaville, Otis, Eastbrook, Waltham, Osborn, Aurora, Amherst and Great Pond. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast’s Republican Journal prior to joining The Ellsworth American in April of 2012.

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