Stop on Red…or You Could Be Dead!

Stop on Red…or You Could Be Dead!

Most of us learn the basics of traffic signals at a young age: green means go, yellow means slow down, and red means stop. Yet, despite these early lessons, hundreds of people are still killed every year in car accidents when motorists chose not to stop at red lights.

In 2017, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (I.I.H.S.) reported 890 fatalities and over 132,000 injuries resulting from red-light crashes. More than half of these deaths were bicyclists, pedestrians, and occupants of surrounding vehicles who were hit by red-light runners. In some busy intersections, motorists could be witnessed running a red-light every 20 minutes, especially during rush hour or peak travel times.

Fatalities and injuries caused by drivers who neglect to stop at red lights are 100 percent preventable. National Stop on Red Week, lead by the National Coalition for Safe Roads (N.C.S.R.), is a safety campaign observed in the first full week of August every year. This initiative aims to spread awareness on the deadly risks drivers pose to others when running red lights, and what communities can do to prevent these accidents from occurring in the future.

National Stop On Red Week

Stop on Red Week runs from August 4 to the August 10. Each day of the safety campaign is dedicated to educating drivers on the vital safety information they need to help reduce unnecessary red-light crashes. Here is how the week is broken down:

Sunday, August 4- Introduction to Stop on Red Week: The kick-off day for Stop on Red Week is dedicated to making communities aware that people are not stopping on red as much as we believe. Innocent lives are lost every year from red-light accidents, and it only takes a second for them to occur.
Monday, August 5 – The Numbers: The N.C.S.R. focuses on highlighting fatality and injury statistics for Day 2. Every year, nearly 900 people are killed, and tens of thousands of others are injured in reckless red-light crashes. Between 2004 to 2016, it’s estimated that as many as 10,125 people lost their lives from these preventable accidents.
Tuesday, August 6- The Trends: Day 3 focuses on making communities aware of certain factors that lead to an increase in red-light accidents. For instance, May is the number one month of the year for drivers to run red lights. The most common time to run a red-light is between the hours of 1 pm and 5 pm. Friday is the deadliest day of the week and the holiday with the highest rate of accidents is Independence Day.
Wednesday, August 7- Stop on Red: Stopping on red is not a suggestion- it’s the law. Day 4 focuses on spreading the message that everyone is expected to stop on red, regardless of what day or time it is. It is our responsibility to protect others by adhering to the laws of our cities and towns and speaking out when reckless motorists put residents in danger.
Thursday, August 8- Get the Facts: Day 5 is dedicated to spreading awareness on the prevalence of fatal red-light crashes around the country. The N.C.S.R.’s Red-Light Running Fatality Map shows viewers the U.S. states and cities with the highest rates of fatal red-light accidents. New York City ranks as the fifth most dangerous city for red-light running, with a total of 111 fatalities between 2004 to 2017.
Friday, August 9- Red-Light Cameras Save Lives: On Day 6, the N.C.S.R. focuses on educating communities on the benefits of installing red-light cameras. Studies have shown red-light cameras reduce fatal car accidents by up to 21 percent in large cities. These systems are designed to target risky driving behaviors at stop-lights to hold drivers accountable and use the threat of fines and criminal charges to encourage motorists to follow the rules.
Saturday, August 10- Take the Pledge: Stop on Red Week officially closes with encouraging drivers across the country to take the pledge to commit to stopping on red. The pledge aims to inspire American drivers to be safe on the roads year-round, and not to risk the safety of others by running through red lights.

Types of Red-Light Runners

There is more than one way to run a red-light at a traffic stop. The I.I.H.S. reports drivers are considered to have run a red-light if they do any of the following:

Drive into an intersection at any time after the signal light has turned red;
Fail to come to a complete stop before turning right on red; and
Turning right on red at an intersection that does not permit right on red turns.

Drivers who enter an intersection to turn left, and are stuck after the light turns red, are not considered red-light runners. However, these motorists are putting themselves at a heightened risk for accidents by drivers who may run red lights in the process.

Drivers Who Most Often Run Red Lights

The AAA performed a telephone survey in 2017 that found disturbing trends surrounding drivers who run red lights. The survey showed at least 93 percent of drivers believed it was unacceptable to run a red-light. Unfortunately, at least 43 percent of these drivers also admitted to running at least one red-light in the last 30 days. It should also be noted that these statistics only include the drivers who admitted the reckless behavior; many other drivers keep it a secret when they break the law.

Although all drivers are capable of running a red-light, the I.I.H.S. reports these groups were more likely to go through with it:

male drivers;
younger drivers;
drivers with prior crash records;
drivers who were previously charged with driving under the influence;
drivers who have a history of speeding; and
drivers who do not have a valid driver’s license.

How To Get Involved

New Yorkers can be extremely influential in their communities when it comes to reducing the number of red-light accidents. The more you advocate for the safety of your neighborhood, the more likely you will be to witness change. These are just a few ways residents can get involved:

Ask For Red-Light Cameras

Residents can show their concerns for red-light accidents by participating in local government meetings to advocate for the installation of red-light cameras in their communities. Several residents are against red-light cameras in fear of acquiring hefty fines for minimal traffic violations. However, following up your position by educating your neighbors and friends on the benefits of these systems can help ease push back.

Look Into Extended Yellow-Light Signals

Studies have shown shorter yellow light signals lead to more red light runners. Inquiring with your city or town officials about extending the length of yellow lights could help reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers attempting to beat a short signal.

Social Media Presence

Social media is another excellent way to spread statistics and awareness of the prevalence of red-light accidents. Advocates can show their support by copying the statistics and images provided by the N.C.S.R. and using hashtags such as #StopOnRed2019 and #StayAlertStayAlive to spread the word and get others on board with your mission. Profile banners are also available to show your support of this worthy cause.

For more tools and resources on how you can participate in Stop on Red Week, visit the N.C.S.R.’s website here to view the full campaign.

New York City and Long Island Accident Attorneys

Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using past experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.

If  you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, our team at Siler & Ingber are here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343, or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.

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