We’ve all done it – while driving we see someone speeding, weaving through traffic, or tailgating and we think, “Look at that idiot. He’s gonna kill someone.” Traffic light 1


But according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Americans blame other motorists for unsafe driving, even though many admit to doing the same dangerous practices themselves. Take red light running for instance.


The Foundation’s 2008 Traffic Safety Culture Index says that more than 70 percent of motorists rated red light running as a serious problem, yet over half of those same individuals admitted to speeding up to get through yellow lights, and 5 percent even admitted to having run a red light on purpose in the past month.


Every 13 minutes, someone dies on America’s roads, but Americans seem complacent about this incredible statistic. If someone died every 13 minutes from a disease, that disease would be considered an epidemic.  


Some communities are instituting red light cameras that take a picture of vehicles as they run through red lights, and send the vehicle’s owner a ticket. This seems to be working to cut down on violations at traffic lights. For instance in Charlotte, NC, the red light camera program has cut the number of red light runners by 70 percent in one year, and crashes dropped by 10 percent throughout the city.


But in other cities, lawmakers and local officials have not installed the cameras because they believe the cameras impinge on drivers’ privacy rights or because critics say the cameras cause more rear-end crashes. In 2005, Virginia Beach cut off its red light camera program and crashes at the four intersections where they had been installed more than doubled in the first six months, according to local police.


So if not red light cameras then what? More police at intersection? Stiffer penalties for those who get caught? Or do the cameras invade a driver’s privacy?


Please share your thoughts and tell us what’s happening in your area.





Click here: The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running




Click here: Stop Red Light Running Program – FHWA Safety

  1. It open to debate around the U.S. There are 6000+ locations in our U.S. database and its growing by 50%+ every year. http://www.photoenforced.com

  2. markthoman says:

    While you are correct that running through intersections against the light is dangerous, there is no correlation between RLC and intersection safety. There are only two studies, both touted and publicized by the IIHS that actually purport to say they do, one written by Richard Retting on Oxnard CA, and one written by the Iowa DOT that has since been discredited for poor statistical objectivity.

    In contrast, there are at least a dozen publicly financed, independent studies showing no benefit, or a relationship of increased costs and accidents specifically due to RLC.

    A far more effective way to reduce red light running and also objectively reduce accidents at intersections involves detailed engineering studies, which typically finds the dangerous intersections have dangerous light timing patterns. By modifying the cycle times and durations particularly of the yellow light segment, the improvements in traffic flow include reduced red light running and fewer accidents.

    The above, however, does not generate revenues for RLC companies, nor for municipalities that employ them, nor for insurance companies that reap the benefit of increased rear end collisions outside the intersection, causing higher insurance rates.

  3. markthoman says:

    PS Oxnard currently has the 2nd highest intersection accident rate in CA, and RLC have had no discernible impact on the years of increase/decrease in intersection accidents there.

  4. CMarkGriffin says:

    It is Not a good choice to run a Red Light.

    I sat at the light and then there were three others sitting behind me… There was honking!!

    I sipped my coffee… The light was still red… More cars joined the line and still the light stayed RED.

    I thought.. If I move up a little I will trip the switch and the light will turn Green. More honking..Another sip of coffee and I moved up a bit more.


    I took a right on Red. (Which is legal in NY..)

    I do not go that way anymore. That Red light is annoying…

  5. JimmyBean says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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