Data Shows Alarming Increase In Red Light Crashes

Aug 29, 2019, 7:42 PM | Updated: Aug 30, 2019, 1:58 pm

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah – A nationwide study published by AAA on Thursday shows a disturbing pattern of a growing number of deaths resulting from red-light crashes.

Crashes that come from a driver running a red light are a frequent reason police respond to serious accidents.

“Traffic lights are there for a reason they help us navigate the roadway and get to where we’re going safely,” said Orem Police officer Lynzie Halladay.

She said officers frequently see the aftermath of when drivers run a red light, and the results can be devastating.

The AAA study shows that every 12 hours in America, someone dies when a car runs a red light. The most recent numbers from 2017 show 939 deaths in the country, up nearly 30% since 2012.

What is even more alarming is that Utah ranks fourth in the number of per capita red light deaths – 3.9 per one million residents. A total of 112 deaths in the state over the past ten years.

“If your vehicle is not in the intersection, then it’s a violation of the law if the light is turning yellow and you keep going,” Halladay said.

Whether in a hurry, distracted or under the influence, drivers are running red lights more often. However, it’s a statistic that officers said can easily be fixed if drivers simply follow the law.

“Just slow down, stop, because you’re going to avoid getting into a serious accident,” Halladay said.

Officers hope the real deterrent is the impact these crashes can have on people’s lives and drivers will be quicker to apply the brake when they see a yellow light.

On Thursday, one woman was airlift to Utah Valley Hospital in extremely critical condition after witnesses said she failed to stop at a red light.

Her SUV was hit by a dump truck at the intersection of Sunset Drive and Cord B. Wride Highway. She died as a result of her injuries on Friday.

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Data Shows Alarming Increase In Red Light Crashes