West Valley police to target drivers who run red lights

Apr 17, 2024, 3:47 PM | Updated: 3:52 pm

West Valley City police car...

FILE: In the aftermath of a number of serious accidents, West Valley City police and UDOT launched a new campaign this week called "Stop on Red." (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

WEST VALLEY CITY — Three people were killed March 8 when the car they were in ran a red light at the intersection of 3500 South on the Mountain View Corridor and was hit by another vehicle.

In February, a couple was killed after running a red light at the same intersection and their car was hit by a semitruck.

Last fall, a 17-year-old was killed in a crash at the intersection of 3100 South and and 3200 West that police say was also caused by a car running a red light.

In response to the ongoing problem of vehicles running red lights resulting in serious — and sometimes fatal — crashes, West Valley police and the Utah Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced a new campaign called “Stop on Red.” The goal of the campaign is to raise public awareness “about the risks associated with disobeying traffic signals and promote safe driving habits.”

The department plans to increase enforcement efforts and patrols with officers specifically looking for vehicles that run red lights, as well as increased speed enforcement along the Mountain View Corridor.

But West Valley Deputy Police Chief Michael Fossmo says the campaign will be a citywide effort, not just focusing on the Mountain View Corridor.

Fossmo says his officers will be looking for people who blatantly run red lights, those who are distracted by something else in their vehicle and don’t realize the traffic signal has turned red, and those who automatically speed up whenever the light ahead turns yellow.

A particularly dangerous scenario happens when one vehicle tries to “beat the yellow,” while another vehicle approaching the same intersection attempts to “time the light” as it turns green, he said.

“When those two things come together, bad results happen,” Fossmo says.

The department is asking all drivers to help reduce the number of crashes by doing their part to avoid these scenarios.

The Utah Department of Transportation says 18 people have been killed in Utah this year due to crashes in intersections.

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West Valley police to target drivers who run red lights