Intersections have long been one of the most dangerous zones for vehicle accidents because they are where vehicles — and bicyclists and pedestrians — often come together.
One of the types of fatal intersection accidents, running a red light, rose 17% from 2012 to 2016. Throughout the U.S., 811 people died as a result of a red-light-running accident in 2016, versus 696 in 2012.
Increase in Accidents Caused by Running a Red Light
Running a red light is one of the most frequent contributors toward urban vehicle accidents. Over 50% of the fatalities in these type of accidents are bicyclists, pedestrians, or people in vehicles other than the one that ran the red light.
Sadly, red light camera programs have been shown to decrease red-light-running accidents, but many of these programs have been discontinued across the country. In fact, a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicated that red-light-running accidents was 30% higher when cities discontinued use of the cameras than when they had an active camera program.
There were just 421 red-light programs in the U.S. in 2018, versus 533 in 2012, a more than 20% drop. Multiple factors have contributed to the discontinuance of cameras in red-light intersections, including financial constraints, a falling number of citations based on the cameras, and local opposition to the red-light camera programs.
New cameras are being added, but the number being stopped is greater.
Fighting the Rise of Red-Light-Running Deaths
To combat the rise of fatal and other crashes due to red light running, several U.S. vehicle safety organizations have joined together to develop a checklist on automated enforcement and its effect on safety. The organizations are the Automobile Association of American (AAA), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Safety Council.
While IIHS noted that factors such as robust economic times might also be contributing to the increase in red-light-running accidents, it noted that automated enforcement is a proven safety measure that reduces fatalities.
The checklist is designed to be used by law enforcement, policy-makers, and government officials.
Need an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in NYC or Nassau County?
All too tragically, running a red light can cause death and destruction to innocent bystanders. If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in an accident caused by running a red light, or caused by any other reason, call us today.
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- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highway Loss Data Institute. Red light running. April 2018. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/red-light-running/qanda
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highway Loss Data Institute. IIHS News. “New guidelines for automated enforcement programs emphasize safety amid rise in red-light-running crash deaths.” July 24, 2018. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/new-guidelines-for-automated-enforcement-programs-emphasize-safety-amid-rise-in-red-light-running-crash-deaths