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Obey Red Lights During 'Stop On Red Week' (And Every Week)

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Top ten states for red light-related fatalities (2009)

Top ten states for red light-related fatalities (2009)

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You could be forgiven for not knowing that we're in the middle of National Stop on Red Week. Between the stock market yo-yoing, the political finger-pointing, the tragedy in Afghanistan, and other high-profile headlines, Stop on Red has gotten lost in the shuffle, but its message remains important.

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.

[PRNewswire]

 
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Comments (4)
  1. It should be mentioned that the NCSR is funded by ATS, a red light camera company. They do have an agenda. Also, red light running accounts for less than 2% of fatalities in this country. These resources should be used to fight impaired driving(drunk/drugged) which is more than 25 times more deadly than red light running.
     
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  2. Thanks for pointing out the link between NCSR and ATS -- that's well worth noting. However, even if red-light accidents account for only 2% of fatalities, that's still over 650 deaths (based on 2010 stats), which is a sizable number. I don't think anyone would want to see red-light awareness shorted in favor of impaired driving campaigns (for drunk/drugged/distracted drivers). Frankly, I'd rather see support for BOTH increase.
     
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  3. As a former accident investigator, I don't feel too bad when a careless driver ruins his own vehicle or life in a common single vehicle crash (off road and/or overturn).
    The red light runners, on the other hand, usually take out one or more innocent passengers, bikers or walkers.
     
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  4. The people that complain the most about red light cameras, are the one's running the red light. I sat at one traffic light when no less then three car's ran the red light. They were doing the posted speed limit of 45 mph. Then you get the excuses. That wasn't me driving the car, ok who was driving ? "I don't remember". This is a win, win for the state. Another company installs, and fixes the cameras. They split the ticket fee with the state or county, and the idiot who ran the light get's the ticket, and hopefully learns a lesson, don't run a red light
     
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