Each year brings a new class of student and parent drivers to RAHS. The school district has added speed bumps on Phoenix Drive to stifle speeding, and RAHS itself uses a system where a permit must be obtained to park in the RAHS parking lot.
Among other safety precautions, the “no right on red” sign when turning from Phoenix Drive to East Marginal Way stands out, often annoying teacher and student drivers. Senior Josh Husby, junior Tanvir Tatla, and RAHS math teacher Michael Gudor all have their own views on the “no right on red” sign.
“I think they put in the sign for the tow trucks that carry the cars [that share a turn with RAHS],” said Husby, “because it would be very catastrophic if they got run into or ran into someone else.”
Because Husby believes the sign is meant as a caution for the second driveway and he wants to get home as quickly as possible, he turns right on red.
“[I do turn right on red because] traffic getting to my house is very stressful, and there is a very small time window I have to beat to get home in a reasonable time,” said Husby.
Though he doesn’t adhere to the sign’s rule, Husby is cautious about potential consequences. Husby even has a routine for turning right onto E Marginal Way.
“Look right for cops, look left for cops, look right for cops again then punch it,” said Husby.
Though less enthusiastic, Junior Tanvir Tatla doesn’t always adhere to the signage either.
“Sometimes I do [turn on red], sometimes I don’t,” said Tatla. “Usually when I do it, it’s at 9:00 pm and after robotics when no one is around, but normally I don’t in the daytime.”
Tatla has a more neutral outlook towards the sign than Husby, with a more cautious attitude toward toward the potential consequences.
“I am scared to break the law. I don’t want to get caught, and it says no turn right on red for a reason so I instinctively don’t,” said Tatla.
Tatla sees the reasoning behind the sign given the potential dangers of turning into oncoming traffic.
“Personally I don’t care as much,” said Tatla “[but] I don’t think it is safe when someone is coming and they might not see it.”
For some experienced drivers like teacher Michael Gudor, taking a right turn at a red light is like second nature.
“I do take right turns on red normally,” said Gudor, “but I am used to taking them so sometimes habit takes over and I take the turn but never by choice.”
Gudor is also aware of the potential consequences not because he is worried about an accident, but because he doesn’t like breaking the law.
“I’m not worried because don’t turn in front of a car, but I do understand it’s illegal so I’m like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe I did that.’” said Gudor
Like Tatla, Gudor believes laws are in place for a reason and cautions against ignoring the signage.
“It’s dangerous to disregard traffic laws,” said Gudor.
Though drivers have differing perspectives on the rules for turning onto E Marginal Way, breaking traffic laws can cause a fine of up to $250, and it is up to drivers to decide whether the turn is worth the risk.