Drivers confused by right red arrow

By Nicole Bell - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - We all know it's legal to make a right turn on a red light. But what about making a right turn on a red arrow? Dozens of Petersburg residents are learning the answer to that question the hard way.

A red arrow light is part of a new traffic patern at the intersection of Wagner and South Crater Roads. Just about everyone we saw made the right turn on red, including William Stone.

"I got to the light and there were two cars in front of me and they both made a right turn on red," said Stone.

Stone was pulled over and cited.

"If you can't make a right here there should be a sign or something saying you can't make that turn on red," Stone said.

Like many motorists, Stone thought it was perfectly legal to turn right on a red arrow. Especially since there aren't any signs indicating no turn on red.

"Whether it's a left turn or right turn, if there's an arrow, it's no turn," said Petersburg Police Department Lt. Scott Flaherty.

The new red arrow is causing confusion among drivers. In response Petersburg plans on posting a "No turn on red" sign within two weeks.

The Department of Motor Vehicles' manual says, "Some states prohibit right and left turns on red at red arrows" but it doesn't specifically say Virginia.

In response to this story DMV says an effort is now underway to make the law more clear in it's manual.

As for Stone he's hoping to have his case dismissed.

"I have to go to court May 21," said Stone.

A spokesperson for Petersburg says that a number of the cases have been thrown out. Others have been continued until a judge can meet with city officials to discuss the issue.

No word yet on when that meeting will take place.

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