If you are driving around Markham, Ontario, Canada, have you noticed of the recently new signs “No Right Turn on Red Light”? These new signs are popp’in up everywhere in the city of Markham.
For example, I am seeing these “No Right Turn on Right Light” signs at intersection such as Highway 7 and McCowan Road, Carlton & Kennedy Road or Carlton and McCowan road. If you haven’t noticed, please becareful and on the lookout for them coz you have to obey these new traffic laws in Markham.
As most Canadians know, most parts of Canada allows drivers to make a right turn on a red light if it’s safe to do so (giving yield of way to pedestian). So, it was a headscratcher for me to wonder why all of a sudden of these new signs. I am sure there must be reasons for the city to implement these new signs. I guess there are many drivers who disobey of stopping at the red light before making a right turn when it’s safe to do so?
I did read an article in which the reporter/writer interviewed the city staff from Markham who explains that there were many drivers who aren’t following the rules and they don’t properly stop at the right light, leading to accidents and injuring pedestrians and cyclists.
This is my thought process, I am fine with the new “No Right Turn on Red Light” signs being implemented (although I don’t think it’s necessary and it slows down the traffic even more), but I respect it if the city thinks there is a major need to make the communities safer. However, I think the city of Markham needs to do a better job in educating and spreading words to the communities and residents of these new changes. I don’t think they have been doing a good job in spreading the news. There aren’t any newsletters being mailed to the Markham residents and there aren’t much news on TV to learn about it. I don’t even seen anything on the city of Markham website.
Moreover, I went to Highway 7 and McCowan Road to inspect the situation and I have seen the following issues already in place. The city of Markham placed a “No Right Turn on Red Light” sign at a lamp pole that is located 5 cars away from the actual white line where the cars are supposed to stop on the red light. From the picture below, you could see that if the vehicles are stopping at the red light, they wouldn’t be able to see the new sign that is located so far behind the white line. And although you are supposed to see the sign when you are driving pass the sign, most drivers are staying focus on the road in front of them and not looking around to the right side of the lamp post.
Furthermore, there is no sign being placed at the top of the intersection traffic light, so it becomes difficult for those who didn’t know of the new traffic law and signs and if you don’t even have a sign on the traffic light, it becomes super difficult.
I was just standing there at the traffic light for 5 minutes, and I have already seen a car following the new rule and stop at the white line on the right light. Unfortunately, the SUV behind it possibly didn’t know the new sign and start honking and wondering why the vehicle in the front isn’t going on a red, this creates problems and possible road rage by the SUV that didn’t know the new law. In my opinion, I don’t blame both sides as one is following the new law but I also not faulting the person behind it as the sign was not prominent and not everyone knows about the new traffic law.
I think city of Markham is lacking in terms of marketing or informing the drivers of the new law. They should need to do a better job with spreading the words and providing more signs.
On a curious level, I also wanted to know who is going to enforce those who disobey stopping on the red light but instead, making a right turn on the red light? Are the Popos going to issue a ticket? Or the red light camera going to check who is making an illegal right turn? I also wonder if the no right turn on red light applies to cyclists (whom as you know most often don’t follow any traffic rules), do they get ticketed as well if they got caught?
Anyhow, let me know your thoughts on the new “No Right Turn on Red Light – 紅燈不右轉” signs in Markham and let me know whether you know about it or not and whether you think it’s necessary or not. Curious to hear about your thoughts as a driver, pedestrian and cyclist.