The Red Light Running Problem
Traffic crashes are the single most significant cause of preventable death and injury in North America. In 2006 in the U.S., as many as 171,000 crashes, 144,000 injuries and 887 fatalities were attributed to red light running (the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
Public costs exceed $14 billion per year, and more than half of the deaths in red light running crashes are other motorists and pedestrians. There is no doubt that red light runners are dangerous drivers who irresponsibly put others at risk. In America's cities ― where too often the yellow light has come to symbolize "hurry up" instead of "slow down" ― red light running is the leading cause of all urban automobile crashes.
The American public recognizes the problem, is deeply concerned about red light running and supports the use of red light cameras. A 2002 nationwide survey sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and conducted by the Gallup Organization found that 75 percent of drivers favored the use of red light cameras. Most Americans (96 percent) are afraid of being hit by a red light runner, but nearly one in five admit to running a red light in the last ten intersections. The leading excuse given for red light running was neither frustration nor road rage; it was "being in a hurry."