A controversial new law going into effect soon will allow Ohio drivers to legally run a red light.
The law, going into effect in March, says that it is legal to run a red light so long as the driver comes to a full stop and so long as the driver believes that the stop light is malfunctioning. The law requires that the intersection be free of traffic before a driver chooses to run the red light.
The law places the burden of proof that the traffic light was malfunctioning on the driver — meaning that if a crash occurs in the intersection, the driver who ran the red light would be one at fault.
Many are worried that the new law will give impatient drivers an excuse to run red lights even if they aren’t malfunctioning.
Said Kettering police officer John Jung, “We don’t want the driver to approach a red light, wait for a couple of seconds and determine that it is malfunctioning and then blow through a red light. You still have to proceed with caution.”
Drivers who spot a traffic light that isn’t working are asked to call the police.