Montreal mayor bans right turns at red lights

Published: April 6, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The Mayor of Montreal is clamping down on right turns at intersections following a report into Quebec’s rising pedestrian fatality rates. Under the new rules, the mayor has banned drivers from taking right turns at red lights.

A report published by Quebec’s Transport Ministry and the SAAQ, finds that pedestrian deaths in Quebec during 2016 were up 40 percent compared to the numbers seen in 2015.

As a response, Mayor Denis Coderre says the report should be a wakeup call and in an executive meeting on Tuesday proposed a new plan:

“There has been a decrease in the number of car accidents, but there are still worries concerning pedestrians,” Coderre said. “In this context … it’s clear there won’t be rights on red in Montreal.”

Montreal is one of the last major Montreal locations to adopt such a practice.

Other large population centres in Quebec have had red light rules that allow right turns since 2003. Other mayors from demerged Montreal cities have already shown an interest in adopting such laws, with the chief reason being it is believed the rule would improve traffic flow.

However, there is some opposition from advocate groups for pedestrians and cyclists who believe allowing right turns would not be safe. The city has agreed with these groups and the recent report appears to have solidified the decision. Coderre pointed out that the fatality figures show that Montreal is not prepared to allow right turns at red lights.

“I think that today it’s important to remember that, and when it concerns Montreal, we’re remaining firm on that question,” he said during the meeting.