States Take Steps To Stop Drivers From Running Red Lights

Hit and run car accident

There is a huge discrepancy in our driving habits in the U.S. Nearly all drivers run red lights from time to time, with more than half of drivers (56%) openly admitting to it, according to the City of Baton Rouge official website. Still, wholly 97% of drivers say they feel as if their safety is threatened when other drivers speed through an intersection while the light signals them to stop. Various towns and cities are noting increased red light running (the 200 million licensed U.S. drivers run 2 million red lights annually) — and many are taking measures to do something about it.

Do Roundabouts Prevent Traffic Violations?

Up to a point, the answer is a resounding yes. Simply put, “Roundabouts are a safer alternative to traffic signals and stop signs,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Statistics show that roundabouts also significantly reduce injuries from traffic light violations — and that’s huge, given that one in three Americans personally know someone who has been hurt or even died as a direct result of someone running a red light. The idea is very simple: Roundabouts force drivers to go slower, and that results in fewer red light camera tickets, fewer crashes, and fewer injuries.

Are Red Light Cameras A Necessary Evil?

More often than not, drivers run red lights accidentally — mistakenly believing that they can “beat the light” and pass through while it’s still yellow. (Of course, there may be other factors at play, considering that people run more red lights during the afternoon, and on Fridays.) The red light cameras, while bothersome, seem to work. “Institute studies in Oxnard, Calif., and Fairfax, Va., reported reductions in red light violation rates of about 40% after the introduction of red light cameras,” the IIHS continues. As with other traffic tickets, if you are a victim of bad luck — and receive a red light camera ticket after one of the impossibly rare times you happen to run a red light — drivers are more than welcome to contest tickets. Going to court may not eliminate a red light camera ticket altogether, but many drivers are able to get fines and fees reduced.

States all over the U.S. are finally doing something about the troubling number of drivers running red lights. Look out for more roundabouts and more red light cameras — all as part of the effort to reduce these violations and keep drivers and pedestrians safe.