Every year since 1999, Arizona governors have proclaimed March as Red-Light Running Awareness Month.
That also was the year three families who lost their children in red light crashes joined together to form a local coalition, Red Means Stop. Now there are many organizations nationwide promoting red light safety and the topic is the focus of many transportation and governmental agencies.
It’s easy to get in a hurry but it can have dire consequences. So, it’s good to be reminded each year that we all need to be cautious when entering an intersection.
When your light turns green, it is best to wait a few seconds and look left, center, right, and left again to make sure the other drivers are stopping. Unfortunately, Arizona remains among the top 10 states in the country for red light running. Red-light running is “one of the most severe causes of fatal crashes” in metro Phoenix, with 113 deaths and more than 9,300 injuries reported from 2014 to 2020, according to a news article on azcentral.com published in January 2023.
That kind of notoriety has prompted the City of Phoenix to begin testing longer yellow traffic lights at a dozen city intersections to see if it reduces red-light running and crashes tied to drivers ignoring red lights. The city is not making public which intersections to avoid data bias, but yellow lights at 12 intersections are about half second longer, and for left turns, the yellow lights were extended by as much as 3 seconds.
The study is also experimenting with the “red clearance interval,” which is the time between when one direction’s light turns red to the other direction’s light turns green. Data from the study will be available later in 2023.
According to the National Safety Council, 42,060 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2020. Between 2008 and 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated 9,227 people were killed in crashes related to red-light running. In 2019, more than 840 people died due to red-light running.
These kinds of statistics remind us that every day should be red light running awareness day!
DrivingMBA teaches their students to be responsible, slow down and prepare to stop on yellow and that RED MEANS STOP! They also teach their students to be hyper aware at intersections and scan, scan, scan, as that is the only way to protect yourself from red light runners.