“Stop on Red”: it’s one of the fundamental rules about driving that most drivers understand long before they are old enough to get a driver’s license. However, while a 2014 survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 94 percent of drivers say it is unacceptable to go through a red light if you can stop safely before it, 36 percent of those drivers report going through a red light within the last 30 days.
This Puts Us All at Risk
In 2013 (the latest year for which complete information is currently available) the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that:
- Red light accidents led to 697 fatalities. About half of the people killed were pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists other than the one who ran the red light.
- About 127,000 people were injured in red light accidents.
Failing to stop for a red light, stop sign, or other form of traffic control is the most common type of crash in urban areas.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Future Red Light Accidents?
In Illinois, 70 Illinois communities use red light cameras (as of July 2015). Proponents of red light cameras contend that these cameras prevent people from running red lights because they know that they will be caught and issued a ticket. While the data about the effectiveness of red light cameras is mixed, red light cameras alone will not prevent all red light intersection accidents.
Additional measures need to be taken by each individual driver. Red light accidents will be prevented when every driver stops on red, and when every driver anticipates that another driver may not stop on red even though Illinois requires it.
This week is National Stop on Red Week. Please share this blog post on Facebook and to let your friends know about the dangers of running a red light and about the importance of anticipating that another driver may run a red light at an Illinois intersection.