Top ten states for red light-related fatalities (2009)Enlarge Photo
Put together by the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), the goal of National Stop on Red Week is simple: to encourage drivers to obey traffic signals and stop when lights turn red. Doing so may seem obvious to law-abiding citizens who aren't pressed for time, but to others, red lights can seem like more of a suggestion than the law of the land.
According to the NCSR, 676 people were killed and 130,000 injured in 2009 due to red-light running. Worse, the bulk of those people were innocent bystanders or fellow travelers, not the lawbreakers themselves: 66% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or passengers in other vehicles.
The NCSR works to raise awareness about the importance of obeying traffic lights, and it also helps promote adoption of red-light cameras in cities across the country. According to the Stop on Red website, the majority of drivers support red-light cameras, and in Texas alone, their implementation was responsible for a 25% drop in red-light-related accidents. In Albequerque, New Mexico, however, where a legal challenge shut down the red-light camera system, the number of red-light runners and speeders surged a whopping 600%.
Even though it's halfway over (we just got the press release ourselves), participating in National Stop on Red Week is easy: just take the NCSR's safety pledge, and, if you're so inclined, pass it on to friends and family. You can also watch and share these videos -- one about the importance of red-light cameras, the other about a young woman named Amanda who was nearly killed when a dump truck plowed through a red light and into the side of her car. Let's be careful out there, y'all.