One of the most dangerous laws in the United States is the provision permitting drivers to turn right on a red light. It was one of a few terrible 1970s policy changes, along with raising highway speed limits from 55 to 65 mph, which pretended to reduce gasoline use and emissions during the US gasoline shortage. Environmental awareness began increasing at that time but even today most people don't recognize that anything you do to make driving easier and faster actually encourages more driving. The theory of induced traffic demand shows that adding motor vehicle capacity or improving traffic flow is always going to increase traffic demand and congestion. Research by the Federal Highway Safety Administration confirms my experience:
While the law requires motorists to come to a full stop and yield to cross street traffic and pedestrians prior to turning right on red, many motorists do not fully comply with the regulations. Motorists are so intent on looking for traffic approaching on their left that they may not be alert to pedestrians on their right. In addition motorists usually pull up into the crosswalk to wait for a gap in traffic, blocking pedestrian crossing movements. In some instances, motorists simply do not come to a full stop. ...
Prohibiting right turns on red will significantly improve pedestrian safety.
A common problem is that no turn on red signs are typically located on the far side location where they are less visible. Traffic signs and signals should always be located at the near side of the intersection, prior to the crosswalk, so that drivers have to stop before the crosswalk in order to see when the signal changes to green. If an advance stop line is used the signals should be placed so that motorists stop there.