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

August 10, 2011
Top ten states for red light-related fatalities (2009)

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

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.


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