Traffic signals exist to make roadway travel safer for the public, but new research is showing that the number of people dying at signaled intersections nowadays is entirely too high. In fact, the number of lives lost on account of red-light runners across the United States is the highest it has been in 10 years, indicating a need for more community oversight in these areas.
According to the AAA Newsroom, about two Americans are dying every day across the nation because motorists are choosing to blow through red lights.
In total, 939 people lost their lives in roadway fatalities resulting from drivers running red lights in 2017, which was the highest number of deaths resulting from these circumstances since 2007. The number also shows a 28% uptick in the number of deaths caused by red-light runners since 2012, raising questions about what may be causing the sharp increase. It is also worth noting that, most of the time, the lives lost because of red-light runners are not the lives of the red-light runners themselves, but rather, other people traveling through signaled intersections.
The role of red-light cameras
Some communities are adding red-light cameras that snap photos of those who blow through red lights, but are they actually effective? Research shows that traffic cameras reduce wrecks caused by red-light runners by more than 20%. Also, these cameras reduce all traffic signal crashes by about 14%.
While cameras are an effective means of reducing traffic fatalities, not all communities have room for them in their budgets. Make sure to exercise extreme care when navigating signaled intersections to protect yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the roadway.