The Dangers of Running a Red Light
All too often you can witness a driver running a red light or speeding up through a yellow caution light, but a wrong split-second decision like this could result in a car crash, serious injury or even death. Red light running can affect lives forever. It’s a serious problem in Nevada and especially in Las Vegas, as our city was ranked the fourth worst city for red-light running, according to the National Coalition for Safer Roads. During the time of the study, 105 deaths were reported that resulted from red-light running crashes and just recently another fatality occurred involving a red light runner.
It has been reported that as of August last year, Metro had cited more than 3,000 drivers for running a red light, which contains a fine of a minimum $300. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “red light runners cause hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year,” and many of those killed are pedestrians, bicyclists and occupants in other vehicles. The worst part is, these incidents are preventable.
No Excuses for Red-Light Running
Saying, “the light changed too quickly from yellow to red” is not a valid excuse for this dangerous driving habit. The city of Las Vegas states that “the length of time for the yellow change interval light varies slightly throughout Southern Nevada, depending on the speed of the road.” In the end there is plenty of time to make the right decision and not run through the red light.
Las Vegas’ high ranking in red light running could be attributed to the 24/7 nature of this city. There are also a lot of distracted drivers, hurried drivers and at times aggressive drivers. But these are not excuses and the extra few seconds you wait and not run through a red light, could save a life.
Nevada Actions Aimed at Red Light Runners
The Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) has been reported to be teaming up with agencies like the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) to make the roads safer. Many states have enacted legislation permitting the use of speed or red light cameras, however, Nevada law prohibits red light cameras “with narrow exceptions.”
The RTC is working on construction improvements on roads such as Flamingo Road to reduce the amount of red light running. Some of these improvements include dangerous intersection and traffic signal upgrades, restricting left turns from driveways and improving pedestrian crosswalks. As for the spots where red light running would be likely, NHP says usually at the “highway exits and major streets like Tropicana Avenue and Rainbow Boulevard.”
Stop on Red
What to take away from this is the impact of good decision-making. When approaching an intersection, be mindful of the traffic light, stay focused and if you see a yellow light, reduce your speed and stop on red. It’s worth the wait to practice safe driving habits.