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New bill may let you turn left on red at new intersections

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - If you've ever been tempted to turn left on a red arrow, a one state lawmaker may convince you to give in.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - If you've ever been tempted to turn left on a red arrow, a one state lawmaker may convince you to give in.

"I trust the citizens of Utah. They elected me, and I'm sure that they're smart enough to make a left turn," said Rep. Mike Kennedy, (R) District 27.

Rep. Mike Kennedy of Utah County is sponsoring H.B. 272 that will let you turn left on a red arrow at a handful of Utah intersections.

"Diverging Diamond interchanges," said Kennedy.

They look like someone tied a knot in the road. Drivers who drive through these intersections briefly drive on the wrong side of the street. Right now there's only a few of them in the entire state. The intersection at Bangerter Highway and S.R. 201 is a perfect example.

"They might be a little confusing so here's how they work. When you're stopped at one of these intersections and you want to make a left turn, traffic coming towards you is already on the wrong side of the road, so it's like turning onto a one way street," said Reporter Brian Carlson.

As long as no cars are coming you can just as easy turn left on the red, that's what the bill wants to make legal.

"When we talk about polluted air and reducing idle times, making sure that people have a chance efficiently to get to their homes, it makes a lot of sense," said Kennedy.

UDOT is hoping to put more of these intersections on the map.

"There's a good likelihood we'll see more of these intersections in the future. It's not going to be a universal across the board type of thing. We're going to study each intersection on a case by case basis and see what makes sense," said John Gleason, UDOT Spokesperson.

Rep. Kennedy just wants to make it easier to drive through them when they do.

"I like to get where I'm going in an efficient way. If I can get there even faster I'll take even one minute of efficiency, especially when we can do that in a safe fashion, which I think this bill allows," Kennedy said.

ABC 4 is told this bill has already passed the House. A Senate committee is expected to hear the bill next. They will decide whether or not it moves on to the Senate floor for a vote.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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