Right turn on red at Hwy 1, Rio del Mar questioned

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Taking the Highway 1 southbound exit ramp to Rio del Mar and heading right toward the ocean, one is immediately confronted with a stoplight for the turning lane. There used to be a yield sign here. If it is red, can you proceed after stopping or is that equivalent to running a red light? Carl Bendix, via the reader forum A: "Drivers are required to stop at red lights. Period," said Officer Sarah Jackson, spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol office in Aptos. "If the vehicle is in the right hand lane, it may turn right after it comes to a complete stop and the driver looks to make sure no hazards exist." The CHP has seen its share of vehicle versus pedestrian collisions at this intersection, Jackson said. One such collision that burns in Jackson's mind is one that involved an elementary school aged girl. "The collision was the direct result of a driver failing to stop completely," she said, while noting that the vehicle rolled through the crosswalk while the child was in it. The girl received significant injuries, said Jackson.
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