Red light bill unlikely to get green light

ELLSWORTH — Drivers in Maine aren’t likely to be able to make a left turn at a red light anytime soon.

That’s according to Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst). Lockman, a first-term legislator, is the sponsor of LD 1075, “An Act to Allow Motorists to Proceed Through an Intersection After Stopping for a Red Light.”

The bill would expand the right-on-red provision already in place by allowing motorists to go any direction at a red light once they have stopped and if there are no pedestrians or other vehicles with the right of way.

“Probably the bill doesn’t have much chance of passing,” said Lockman on Thursday, two days after the Legislature’s Transportation Committee held a public hearing on the bill.

In his own brief testimony, Lockman said he was asked to sponsor the bill by Bangor attorney Lawrence Merrill. Both Lockman and Merrill said the bill would simply turn red lights into stop signs.

“Proponents believe this would save people time and money and also reduce air pollution,” said Lockman, according to a copy of his testimony posted on the state website.

Lockman was the only person to speak in support of the bill. Three people spoke in opposition, while a fourth asked for an amendment relating to motorcycles.

The Transportation Committee has not yet made a recommendation on whether or not the bill ought to pass. Lockman said he won’t invest much more time in the bill, though, no matter what the committee decides.

“Frankly, there are much weightier matters to be dealt with in the Legislature this session,” he said, such as the state budget.

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Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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