WASHINGTON — The federal government is considering an unusual move to prevent drivers from getting caught in traffic accidents.
The Transportation Department is studying the impact of a new rule that would require drivers to stay on the road when passing through intersections.
If you have ever stopped in an intersection to change lanes and then you suddenly have to turn around, you know what that feels like.
A new rule is expected to go into effect Jan. 1 that would create new fines for drivers who fail to keep up.
It’s a step toward making intersections safer for pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities.
Under the rule, if a driver is caught in an accident with a pedestrian or bicyclist, they’d face a $200 fine.
But a driver caught in a collision with a disabled person would face a more serious fine of $300.
Even though the new rules don’t go into full effect until next year, officials have said they expect to see more accidents on the roads.
There’s still a chance the federal government could issue a rule later this year that would apply to drivers traveling through intersections at intersections where people can walk or ride.
In the meantime, some are calling for the rule to be lifted.
“If you’re just passing through an intersections, the question is, if you don’t stop, how will you avoid the accident?” said Robert D. Lee, executive director of the American Association of the Blind.
“This is the only time I’m aware of in the United States of all places, that there are laws against driving through an accident.”
Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesA federal law enacted in 1974 allows for fines for violations of traffic laws, but there are no enforcement tools to enforce the fines.
Since then, there has been a shift to focus on educating drivers on the rules and avoiding dangerous situations, but a federal study has found that some drivers continue to ignore the rules.