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Cambridge moves to ban vehicles turning ‘right-on-red’

The Cambridge City Council voted Monday night to ban right turns at red lights, making it one of the few municipalities in the country to eliminate the practice entirely.

The policy order, aimed at improving pedestrian safety and reducing traffic-related injuries, was adopted by a vote of 7 to 2 during a videoconferenced council meeting. Councilors E. Denise Simmons and Paul F. Toner voted against the ordinance.

Monday’s vote comes about a month after city councilors in both Washington, D.C., and Ann Arbor, Mich., voted to eliminate ‘right-on-red’ in their municipalities. The practice — which is generally accepted across the country — is also restricted in New York City, and lawmakers in Berkeley, Calif. are mulling a similar proposal.

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Roughly 70 percent of Cambridge’s intersections already prohibit right turns at red lights, according to Vice-Mayor Alanna Mallon

Mallon said during the meeting that she hoped Cambridge’s example would push other cities and towns in the region to implement similar bans.

“Drivers don’t just drive through Cambridge, they drive through Somerville, Cambridge, Boston, Arlington, Brookline,” she said. “We need to create a greater safety network regionally and ban this. I’m hoping that lots of people will follow us tonight if we move forward.”

The order was adopted as part of Cambridge’s commitment to Vision Zero, an international campaign to improve traffic safety.



Camilo Fonseca can be reached at camilo.fonseca@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @fonseca_esq.