Is Red Light Running A Serious Problem?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that road deaths soared during 1Q2012 (by 13.5%) (see our article) and it is doubtless that some portion of these fatalities occurred at traffic light controlled intersections.

According to a recent article published at EHS Today, red light running is a serious concern.  The “Safer Roads Report 2012” summarizes data collected from 1,240 red-light safety cameras in 18 states and 142 municipalities with a total population of over 18 million.  Some of the key findings included:

  • Over 2.34 million red-light violations were observed in 2011.
  • The most violations, 30.7%, occurred in the afternoon from 1-5 p.m.
  • The fewest violations, 9.75%, occurred late night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Greater likelihood of finding a red-light violator on a Friday (16%) than on a Sunday (12%).
  • Christmas had a 40% lower violation rate than the average day while June 3 earned the prize for the worst day for red-light running
  • In terms of major travel periods, Memorial Day Weekend ranked the highest, with over 27% more red-light runners than on the average weekend; Independence Day, Labor Day and Halloween were right up there as well.

The NCSR report references a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistic in which intersection-related vehicle accidents were responsible for more than 8,500 deaths in 2011.

All the data point to a clear conclusion:  the odds of encountering a red-light violator are significant.  Automated enforcement alone will not eliminate the behavior of being in a hurry or racing to beat a “yellow light”.  All drivers need to modify their habits to respect traffic signals, and be on the look out for red-light violators.

This is the subject of two brand-new interactive training modules introduced by SafetyFirst for it’s enhanced service clients.  Presently available in English or Spanish, the training can be assigned through our website or when an online-MOR (Motorist Observation Report) recommends specific training modules from our growing library of titles.

In addition to the new, interactive training modules, we have published multiple “Ten-Minute Training Topic” packages for the benefit of client drivers and their supervisors.

If you’d like more information about our training packages, enhanced safety hotline program, MVR profiling or other services, please contact us (1-888-603-6987 toll-free)

3 thoughts on “Is Red Light Running A Serious Problem?

  1. Thank you for sharing those recent statistics and information. The Traffic Safety Coalition spread awareness about National Stop on Red Week this past week (August 5-11, 2012) and we have been sharing our video about red light running (
    I thought it paired well with your post and red light running information. The Traffic Safety Coalition would like to think every week is stop on red week to encourage safe driving on our roads and especially at our intersections. We also have more information about red light running at our website: In the meantime I look forward to your future posts!

  2. “The fewest violations, 9.75%, occurred late night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.”
    I would have thought those percentages would have been the other way around! You wouldn’t expect a cop to be out and about at 3 AM, but 1-5 is prime time for travel. Also the most dangerous time to be running a red light! The percentages might be influenced by just the sheer number of cars on the road between 1 and 5 though.

  3. Mike, remember that the statistics are NOT for ALL red-light running — just for those specific intersections controlled by red-light cameras — a subset of all behaviors considering that most cameras are grouped in specific states and municipalities that are running with the camera enforcement protocols. It’s evident that traffic volume is a key factor when you look at the “lowest number of violations on Christmas day versus June 3rd” etc.

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