Stop Running Red Lights!
Running red lights can have the same consequences as drinking and driving: serious injury or death. According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 1.8 million intersection crashes occur each year, carrying a price tag that exceeds $7 billion. In 2000, red-light-running crashes accounted for 106,000 accidents, 89,000 injuries and more than 1,000 deaths. So why do motorists run red lights?
It might be easy to hypothesize that blowing through red lights is a symptom of frustration or road rage, but a recent survey of offenders showed that only 15.8 percent cited those reasons. Nearly half (47.8 percent) who admitted to the offense said they did it because they were in a hurry.
Many cities are now installing cameras at busy intersections to photograph the license plates of red-light runners. Once photographed, the offender is sent a traffic ticket in the mail. Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that red-light-running violations fell 42 percent in Oxnard, California, in the first year after cameras were introduced, and that crashes with injuries at signalized intersections dropped 29 percent after the city’s camera program began.
•In 2000, there were 106,000 red-light-running crashes that resulted in 89,000 injuries and 1,036 deaths.
•Overall, 55.8 percent of Americans admit to running red lights. Yet 96 percent of drivers fear they will get hit by a red-light runner when they enter an intersection.
•One in three people claim they know someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light-running crash — similar to the percentage of people who know someone who was killed or injured by a drunk driver.
•About 21 percent said they felt that drunk-driving incidents are decreasing, but only six percent felt that red-light-running incidents were decreasing.
•Red-light runners do not conform to a set demographic. The dangerous practice reaches across drivers of all ages, economic groups and gender. The perpetrators are everyday people: professionals, blue-collar workers, the unemployed, homemakers, parents and young adults.Source: Federal Highway Administration