In St. Louis, making a left turn can often feel like taking your life into your hands — here's looking at you, Gravois — but a bill contending for passage in the state's legislature is seeking to give Missouri drivers a brand-new traffic maneuver that's already legal in 38 other states: a left turn on red.
Granted, that legal left turn would only apply to turning onto a one-way street, meaning it wouldn't affect the more complex urban monstrosities
facing St. Louis drivers.
Still, if passed, the bill would assist one frustrated constituent of state Representative Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport). In an interview with Missourinet
, Bayse said that this constituent was fed up with being stranded at a particular intersection in Columbia.
"And he’s got to sit there with no traffic and wait for the light to turn. And it is a long light. I’ve been there many times," Bayse said. The Representative filed a similar bill last year, but it failed to gain traction.
The bill would permit drivers in the left-most lane on a one-way street to turn onto another one-way street, though it would permit local authorities to enact their own safety-based conditions. Bayse added that the bill would be subject to the approval of the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Still, the matter raises questions. Surely, this bill benefits the constituent whose petty hatred of a single red light has carried his desires all the way to the halls of power. But for rest of the Missouri? Sure, we may be courteous
and our traffic mercifully uncongested
— but we tend rank with the worst states for driving overall, and a recent study
published by an insurance company noted Missouri "doesn’t have one specific category it did horribly in, but it’s consistently ranked in the worst half of the United States in all five categories in this study."
Missouri's worst category that study? Failure to obey traffic laws, the 13th worst in the nation.
Let's hope Missouri can turn that around, especially if we're thinking about giving every maniac with a Joy 99.1 FM sticker
a new way to muck up morning traffic.
See also: The 25 Worst Damn Intersections in St. Louis
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
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