ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Department of Public Safety encourages everyone to honor August 3-9, 2008 as "National Stop on Red Week" by slowing down and stopping at red lights. The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running is seeking to decrease deaths and injuries due to traffic accidents caused by red light running.
"Traffic crashes are the single most significant cause of preventable death and injury in North America," according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Institute also states that, "in 2006 in the U.S., as many as 171,000 crashes, 144,000 injuries and 887 fatalities were attributed to red light running." Many of these injuries and deaths are pedestrians and other vehicle drivers and passengers.
Many drivers are aware of the problem and are concerned about red light runners at intersections. However, these same people often run red lights themselves. Intentional red light running is not the main cause; "being in a hurry" or driving faster than the posted speed limit are the main causes for not stopping in time. Yellow lights are seen as a signal to "hurry up" not "slow down."
Red light cameras have been shown to be an effective tool in reducing red light running. The cameras take photos of the vehicle's license plate after the light has turned red. The owner of the vehicle is then sent the photo and the appropriate fine.