Dangerous Trend: Running Red Lights

Christmas
Red apparently meant "Go" to more than 2 million drivers last year, according to a study by the National Coalition for Safer Roads. Its report found that more than 2.3 million drivers in 18 states ran a red light in 2011.

The coalition used data from 1,240 red-light safety cameras across 142 areas in 18 states and collected alarming results.

Certain days and times are more dangerous than others. According to the study, Memorial Day weekend ranked as the most dangerous, with 26,787 red-light violations logged in 2011; that’s 27% more than during the average weekend.  Fridays and afternoons are also hazardous. NCSR’s report recorded 378,122 red-light running violations on Fridays in 2011, and 30.7% of all red-light violations occurred from 1 to 5 p.m.

The group commissioned the study to raise driver awareness of the dangers of red-light running. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, intersection-related vehicle accidents caused more than 8,500 causalities in 2011.

"This report shines a light on the life-threatening epidemic of red-light running on our nation's roads. This new information reveals when we are most vulnerable on the road. We're arming drivers, cyclists and pedestrians with knowledge they can use to keep themselves and their families safer on the road. Drivers everywhere need to make a more conscious effort to be aware on the roadways—no matter the time or the place," David Kelly, NCSR president and executive director, said in a statement.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 30, 2012 | Comments (6)

Comments 

So yellow doesn't mean speed up?

A

This data is just from 1240 red light cameras in 18 states. If they could estimate how many red light violations take place at ALL intersections in the US, their totals would likely be at least 1000x higher.

Bob

Jennifer Geiger: shame on you for parroting the press release of an industry-backed group without mentioning their bias. They don't even hide it:

"NCSR is supported by American Traffic Solutions"

http://ncsrsafety.org/about-us/

rj

Come on, most of this is likely right turn on red violations. The real problem is people blowing through stop signs in residential neighborhoods.

meh

Actually studies found that the red light camera actually induced more accidents with people hammering the brakes the second they saw the yellow. Afraid of the huge fines.

Also there have been lawsuits filed because the length of the yellow had been reduced at intersections with the red light camera.

david

What a bunch of BS. First of all, the NCSR is actually a front group for AT$ (American Traffic $olution$), a red light scamera vendor. They'd like you to believe that red light running is just this huge epidemic that is killing people left and right - and that red light scameras will solve all of this. Well, that simply isn't true.

Study after study has shown that crashes caused by red light violators are those in which the light has been red for 2+ seconds and the driver is either distracted or driving under the influence. A camera on a pole isn't going to prevent crashes like this, nor is it going to "change" the behaviors of those drivers.

For real facts and data not manipulated by those who have a financial stake (i.e., IIHS, state and local governments, and of course the scamera vendors themselves) in the existence of red light scameras, see http://retiredpublicsafety.com/wp/red-light-camera-reference-page/

Also, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323494504578340451308563608.html is a news piece based on factual merit.

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