This week marks the annual “National Stop on Red Week”, which was established in 2001. The goal of the Stop on Red Week is to promote safe driving and raise awareness about the dangers of running red lights.
Every year, hundreds of people are killed and thousands more injured in accidents caused by drivers running red lights. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA), red-light runners killed more than 700 people and injured 118,000 more in 2011. And statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that half of those people killed were not the signal violator, but were drivers and pedestrians hit by a vehicle that had run a red light.
The Federal Highway Admiration (FHWA) reports that someone runs a red light an average of every 20 minutes at intersections located in urban areas. Nearly 93% of drivers believe running red lights are wrong, but 1 in 3 drivers admit they have done it in the past 30 days. An estimated 165,000 motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are injured every year by red-light runners and the cost of those crashes exceeds $230 billion annually. And in the last decade, nearly 9,000 people have been killed in crashes caused by a red-light runner.
The FHWA initiated the program in hopes of educating people about the dangers of running red lights and to reducing the number and severity of traffic citations and crashes.
Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance is another resource for the program. Visitors to the organization’s website are introduced to young people who died in red-light crashes, and what their family members are doing to prevent families from suffering the same losses.
Another resource is National Coalition for Safer Roads. The organization brings together policymakers, community leaders and concerned citizens in support of red light safety cameras, advocating for their use in cities and communities across the country and provides education and information programs about the benefits of these cameras. The group points to several studies that have concluded that these cameras drastically reduce the number of red-light running accidents.