Local News

‘No Turn on Red' begins at busy intersection

Police hope it will improve safety and reduce crashes

DES MOINES - The "No Turn on Red" camera on MLK Jr. Parkway will be active beginning on Tuesday. 

The red light camera is located at MLK Jr. Parkway and School Street in Des Moines. If you're going east on I-235, and you take the MLK exit and try to turn right, you'll have to wait for the light. 

The intersection has been a problem in the past, and police say this is the best solution. They say turning right on that particular section of MLK Jr. Parkway when there's a red light is extremely dangerous, and they're hoping the new law making it illegal will prevent unnecessary accidents.

This camera will start ticketing drivers who turn right on red at the intersection. Police say there are safety concerns.

"I think there might be some visibility issues up there where the bridge is constructed,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

But the intersection has been a problem for years.

"The DOT identified an issue with right angle crashes at that intersection when they were reviewing crash data, something they do periodically,” said Parizek. "What we found were that 95 percent of the crashes at that intersection were right angle crashes."

The Iowa Department of Transportation says that this is number five on the city of Des Moines’ list of high crash intersections. There have been 25 crashes there in the past two years, injuring 13 people. The DOT expects the new law cut the number of crashes in half.

There will be a grace period for automatic tickets for a couple weeks, so only warnings will be issued until October 8th. Still, police want everyone to start changing their habits now.

"Pause for a minute because this is about safety, you do what we ask and you're going to be fine,” said Parizek. 

The grace period begins on Tuesday. So the camera is now on, but for now you'll get away with a warning. This will last for almost two weeks. Starting October 8, you'll get the traffic ticket. Police say those tickets will be $65.

More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center