Montreal mayors want right turns on red lights

red light

Is it time for Montreal to join the rest of Quebec and the continent and allow for turning right on a red light? 15 mayors from around the island think so, and they hope the province will be sympathetic to a change to the rules of the road.

"There are 350 million people in North America and there are only two cities that dont have right-hand turns on red, Montreal and New York—and New York is 10 times bigger than we are," Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle told CJAD 800 News. 

Bourelle cites SAAQ road statistics which he says shows the danger in allowing right turns at red lights is not what it was believed to be when when Quebec began allowing the manoeuvre around the province—with some exception—in 2003, but Montreal was exempted from the change.

Between 2003 and 2013, there were six fatalities in accidents involving turning right on a red light, according to figures from the SAAQ. Overall, accidents causing injury or death during that time that resulted from a "right on red" accounted for less than one per cent of all incidents.

"We would like to see no accidents," Bourelle admitted, "but one per cent is a very low number."

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has been in favour of the practise before, but has changed his mind and is now opposed to right turns on red lights.