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FHWA Home / Safety / Intersection / Red Light Running Brochure

RED LIGHT

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If You Run a Red Light You are Betting More than You can Afford to Lose

Few things will stop you faster in life than a crash because you ran a red light...or were hit by a red light runner.

IF YOU RUN A RED LIGHT YOU ARE RISKING:

"Red-light violators likely do not realize that even low speed (30 mph) side impact crashes can be deadly. Because of the relatively thin protection along the side of a vehicle, a large amount of force is transferred directly to the victim."

— John K. Cumming, M.D.
Trauma Surgeon
Hennepin County Medical Center, Minnesota


DON'T SQUEEZE THE LEMON

(Don’t race through a yellow light!)

A yellow light at an intersection should last long enough that a vehicle traveling at the posted speed can either:

or

"More than half of drivers say driving is less safe today than it was 5 years ago — a 17% increase from only one year ago. Nearly half cite driver distraction as the reason."

Source: 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index


LEARN YOUR STATE LAWS!

GET SMART!

Penalties for red-light running and signal violations can vary by State.

TEN THINGS...

...We Bet You Didn't Know About Red-Light Running*

  1. You or your loved ones are more likely to be injured due to a red-light running related crash than any other type of crash.
  2. Running a red light or other traffic control is the most common cause of all urban crashes.
  3. Someone runs a red light an average of every 20 minutes at urban intersections.
  4. In the last decade, red-light running crashes killed nearly 9,000 people.
  5. An estimated 165,000 motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians are injured annually by red-light runners.
  6. Half of the people killed by red-light runners are not the signal violators – they are passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
  7. Nearly 93% of drivers believe running a red light is unacceptable, yet 1 in 3 drivers reported doing so in the past 30 days.
  8. There are an average of 7 fatal crashes and over 1,000 injury crashes EVERY DAY at signalized intersections across the United States.
  9. The cost to society of all crashes exceeds $230 billion annually.
  10. The tragedies and costs resulting from red-light running are preventable!

* Visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/stopredlightrunning to access the references for these statistics.

Car crashes rank among the leading causes of death in the United States...and are the leading cause of death for children, teens, and young adults up to age 34.


Do Your Part to STOP Red-Light Running Tragedies

Stop on Red — Nobody Dead:

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Red-Light Runners:

Take it To Heart:

Visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/stopredlightrunning to access the Federal Highway Administration's "Implementing a Stop Red-Light Running Program" outreach materials for communities and to download or distribute electronic copies of this brochure.



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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590

FHWA-SA-11-016

Page last modified on September 4, 2014.
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000