August 5-August 11 is this year’s National Stop on Red Week. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is partnering with the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), the City of Orlando, Orange County, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), Maynard Evans High School, the Pine Hills Neighborhood District, Channel 6’s Trooper Steve and Bike/Walk Central Florida to encourage driver awareness and inform the public of the dangers of running red lights.
On Friday, August 10th from 9:00 am until 11:00 am, FDOT and its partners will be conducting a local safety awareness campaign at the busy and dangerous intersection of Silver Star Road and Pine Hills Road.
Sadly, an average of 2 people per day are killed in the U.S. from collisions involving a red-light runner. In fact, about 1/3 of Americans know someone who has been injured or killed due to red-light running. In 2015, 771 people were killed and 137,000 were injured. But the people who run the lights aren’t the only ones affected: approximately 50% of the fatalities are pedestrians, bicyclists and the occupants of cars struck by the red-light running drivers.
When offenders are asked why they ran the red light, it is usually one answer: “I was in a hurry.” Saving two to three minutes to get to a destination should never be the priority of a driver. But sadly, we know it often is. There are many organizations fighting to change this focus of getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible to getting to your destination as safely as possible.
The good news is that there are a few countermeasures that have been shown to decrease the risky driving behavior of running red lights. Increasing the amount of time the traffic light is on yellow, creating more roundabouts, and using cameras installed at intersections have all shown decreases in red-light running.
Drivers, remember that getting to your destination safely is more important than getting there on time. Don’t risk your life and the lives of others – always stop on red.