Right turn on red is legal in Maryland but requires motorists to first make a full stop "behind a clearly marked stop line" before proceeding. However Rockville is apparently now supporting a strict interpretation of this, ticketing for such technical violations even when the motorist did make a full stop.
Rockville police defended the decision to issue this ticket: "The law requires a complete cessation of movement. If the vehicle is completely passed the stop bar, yes, the driver will get a ticket. But we will not ticket if part of the vehicle is behind the stop bar" says Rockville City Maj. Michael England.
The motorist disagreed that the ticket was about safety: "I don't run red lights. I'm a safe driver. I didn't really pay much attention to the white stripe because I was interested in safely turning and not running into the traffic that is crossing, or hit any pedestrians," he says. "I understand the text of the law. But I think the spirit of the law is about safe driving and if you view the video, I think there's no question I was driving in a safe fashion."
Data published by the NHTSA found that accidents involving a right turns on red (under all types of conditions combined) accounted for an extremely small percentage of accidents (0.05% in one study) and also among signalized intersection crashes (0.4%).
In 2012, prior to implementing stricter right turn on red policies, earned approximately $630,000 in red light camera revenues off of an estimated 8,280 citations, according to the FY13 budget. The city's FY15 budget estimates that the city is bringing in $1,800,000... 2.8 times as much... off of an estimated 21,000 citations.
Decisions to implement such policies are made by elected officials.
|Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton, Councilmembers Feinberg, Moore, Onley and Carr|