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Hill’s right-on-red bill gets axed

A local legislator’s proposal to allow drivers to yield at red lights came to a halt last week.
Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) sponsored House Bill 0437, in which motorists would no longer have to come to a complete stop before turning right on red, but instead would only have to yield.
Hill said the bill was designed to force standardization and consistency of red light traffic cameras across the state.
He claimed the current law made it so that officers reviewing tape of an alleged offense were forced to make a subjective determination as to whether a driver came to a complete stop or rolled through the light.
Local law enforcement officials spoke out against the possible change in the law, saying it created dangerous situations for drivers and pedestrians alike.
The legislation was taken off the table on March 29 in a House Transportation subcommittee.
Prior to it being taken off notice, Hill had said the bill would likely be rewritten or taken off the table to make way for other proposed bills that would regulate traffic light cameras.
One such bill that remains on the agenda of the Transportation Committee is House Bill 1500, sponsored by Rep. Vince Dean (R-East Ridge), which aims to better regulate unmanned traffic enforcement cameras.
The bill makes it illegal for any traffic citation to be issued for failure to make a complete stop at a red light before making a right on red based solely upon evidence obtained from a traffic camera, unless the vehicle has its front tire before the stop line when the signal is red and subsequently shows the same vehicle with its rear tire past the stop line while the signal is still red.
The bill does not, however, change any driving laws.
For more about House Bill 1500 and other proposed legislation, visit