Public hearings are taking place this week concerning turning turning right on red lights.

The mayors of the demerged cities on the island of Montreal support the measure, as do the mayors of the boroughs of Anjou, Ile Bizard-Ste. Genevieve, and LaSalle.

More than 70 groups and individuals will argue for and against the measure in front of the Quebec auto insurance board who will present their findings to Transportation Minister Laurent Lessard.

In December suburban mayors proposed that more than half of the intersections governed by red lights should shift to allowing right turns on red.

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourrelle cited a CROP poll from November showing that 71 percent of people on the island believe right turns on red should be allowed.

"I think we have to keep in mind that this is a decision that has to be made by the minister of Transport for Quebec and again I'm sure the minister of transport will want to take into consideration that three out of four residents on the island of Montreal, more than 50 percent of mayors, want to do it," said Burrelle.

The move is opposed by the city of Montreal, as well as advocates for pedestrians and bicyclists.

They point out the fuel and time savings touted by those who want to turn right are minimal.

According to the SAAQ, drivers save between three and 16 seconds per day when right turns on red are allowed.

Researchers at the University of Montreal also found that the average driver will save 2.64 L of gasoline each year.

The tradeoff is an increase in collisions. In the first decade that right turns on red were allowed in Quebec, six pedestrians were killed, 33 pedestrians were seriously injured, and another 712 people were hurt.