New research says that fatal crashes caused by red light runners are at a 10-year high
Drivers who run red lights were responsible for 939 traffic fatalities in 2017, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. That amounts to more than two deaths per day and marks a 28 percent increase since 2012.
Fatal intersection crashes caused by red light runners make up roughly 28 percent of all fatal crashes. Those killed in these crashes include:
- Passengers or occupants of other vehicles — nearly 50%
- The driver who ran a red light — more than 35%
- Pedestrians and bicyclists — more than 5%
Drivers know running red lights is dangerous
According to AAA's latest Traffic Safety Culture Index:
- 85% of drivers surveyed think that running red lights is extremely dangerous, yet
- One third of those surveyed admitted that they blew through a red light within the past 30 days, and
- about half say it's unlikely they'll be pulled over by law enforcement for running a red light.
Since many intersections lack police presence and many perpetrators don't think they'll get caught, there is a need for increased enforcement.
“The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Can red light cameras save lives in Wilmington?
Red light cameras alone have reduced fatal crashes involving drivers who run red lights by about 21 percent in large cities across the US, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Overall fatal crashes at signalized intersections dropped by 14 percent.
“Cameras increase the odds that violators will get caught, and well-publicized camera programs discourage would-be violators from taking those odds," said IIHS Vice President for Research Jessica Cicchino. "Camera enforcement is a proven way to reduce red light running and save lives.”
According to a North Carolina red light camera map, there are 12 red light cameras in Wilmington — three of which are installed across Market Street. Four more cameras are set up in the area where Wooster Street, Dawson Street, S 16th Street, and S 17th Street intersect.
Recently, the red light camera on 3rd St captured a hit-and-run crash involving a driver who ran a red light and was wanted for driving with a revoked license. The video was posted to Facebook by the Wilmington Police Department and shows the offender broadsiding another driver who had the right-of-way.
When we see evidence like this, there is no disputing who caused the crash. Even without such hard evidence, the clues left at the scene of a crash and the details documented in a police report can later be used to hold negligent drivers accountable. That's why if you were hurt in a crash, it's important to consult with an experienced Wilmington car accident attorney before taking any other course of action.
The legal team at the Law Offices of Richard Flexner knows how to handle serious and fatal crashes and seek justice for victims. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation.