‘No Turn On Red’ at MLK Now in Effect

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DES MOINES, Iowa – A “no turn on red” is in effect starting Tuesday at the I-235 east exit ramp, and Martin Luther King Parkway intersection.

The new rule went into effect at midnight.

The city of Des Moines Police Department said there will be a “grace period” from September 26th at midnight to October 8th at midnight.

During this grace period, the automated traffic enforcement camera will be issuing warnings to drivers who turn on red.

According to Safety Director of Iowa Department of Transportation Steve Gent, the reason for the added sign is due to an increase of accidents.

Within the last two years, there have been 25 accidents and 13 resulting injuries from the accidents at the intersection.

The intersection is ranked in the top five highest crash intersection in Des Moines.

“Anytime there is an area of concern we always look at the crashes. We try to see what the patterns are, and then we try to come up with counter, safety counter measures to make the intersections safer. And in this case, restricting right turns on red really seem to be the appropriate safety county measure,” Gent said.

Gent said both the city and Iowa DOT researched the potential for traffic on the ramp, and said it should not be a problem.

“It’s another issue we worked with the city of Des Moines on. We evaluated the cue of cars, because the last thing we wanted to do is to make sure traffic doesn’t back up to the end of the interstate, stops traffic on the ramp, and doesn’t back up on the interstate. We’ve looked at that, we’ve reviewed it, we are all comfortable with trying this. And with any safety county measure, when we implement them we are going to continue to evaluate it,” Gent said.

Once the grace period is over, there will be a $65 ticket issued to anyone who turns on red.