A decades-old law that was meant to manage fuel shortages is coming under the spotlight in states like Georgia, as experts consider ways to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents around the country.
The so-called “right- on-red” law allows motorists in Georgia and several other states to make a right turn at an intersection even if the light is on red as long as the intersection is clear. The law provides American motorists with a unique privilege, and comes as a result of a law that was passed in the 1970s as the country grappled with fuel shortages. That was when an oil embargo pushed oil prices to record levels, necessitating the passing of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975. Some other states had passed similar right to turn laws a few decades earlier.
The laws continued to remain in place even after the oil embargo ended and fuel prices returned to normal. It is a privilege that American motorists now do not even think twice about, and it is only now in the face of skyrocketing pedestrian accident deaths that experts are asking if it is time to retire a law that is possibly at least partly responsible for the increasing number of people being killed in pedestrian accidents, especially at intersections.