PROVIDED BY AAA COLORADO
New AAA analysis finds more than two people are killed every day in red light running crashes, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.
More than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights, according to new data analysis performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The most recent crash data available show that 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017 – a 10-year high and a 28 percent increase since 2012. In Colorado, 20 people were killed by red light runners in 2017 – the sixth highest rate, per capita, in the country.
According to the AAA Foundation:
“Here’s the bottom line: Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts others in danger,” said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. “The data is clear: Red light running remains a significant traffic safety challenge, and lives are on the line.”
According to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, 85 percent of drivers believe red light running is “very dangerous” – yet one in three say they blew through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have stopped safely. Strikingly, more than two in five drivers also say they don’t think they’d be stopped by police for running a red light.
Red Light Cameras
While enforcement is the single most effective way to get drivers to comply with red light laws, it is impossible for police to be at every intersection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that, when properly implemented, red light cameras reduced the fatal red light running crash rate of large cities by 21 percent and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 14 percent.
Proper implementation of red light cameras helps to ensure drivers’ safety and trust in these systems. When using red light camera programs, local governments should incorporate best practices such as:
Using the camera program as part of a comprehensive traffic safety strategy, including engineering and education.
Tips for Motorists
Changes in driver behavior are critical to reducing red light running crashes on U.S. roads. To prevent red light crashes, AAA recommends that drivers:
Tips for Vulnerable Road Users
Pedestrians and cyclists should also stay safe when traveling near intersections. AAA recommends:
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