New Rule on ‘Right Turns’ Due to Increased Crashes

DES MOINES, Iowa – Starting September 26th drivers will have to obey a new traffic sign.

A “no turn on red” sign at the eastbound I-235 exit ramp on Martin Luther King Parkway will be put into effect.

Director of Traffic and Safety at Iowa Department of Transportation Steve Gent said this comes in reaction to the numerous accidents that have occurred at the intersection in the last two years.

“This location is actually number five on the city’s list of high crash intersections in the city. In the last two years there have been 25 crashes and 13 resulting injuries from those crashes. That’s really more than anything we would ever expect from this type of an intersection where we have one way traffic coming in from two different lanes,” Gent said.

Gent said the Iowa DOT did a safety analysis and weighed out multiple options, before deciding to implement the “no turn on red.”

“The biggest issue really is when drivers come up to the end of the ramp. They look left, and there is the abutment from the bridge right there. They really don’t have adequate sight distance to see oncoming cars. Especially, if those cars are traveling at or above the speed limit that are approaching them,” Gent said.

Gent said many of the crashes have been T-bone accidents.

Before putting the sign up, both the city and Iowa DOT made sure ramp traffic would not be an issue.

Iowa DOT will continue to monitor and evaluate traffic once the “no turn on red” sign officially goes up.