Traffic signals were in use long before the automobile was even invented. The first gas-lit traffic signals were in use on December 10, 1868, outside the Houses of Parliament in London. When it comes to the same traffic lights that we use today, an American policeman named Lester Wire came up with the idea. The first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio on August 5, 1914. Since then, running a red light has been a thing. Unfortunately, it is a dangerous traffic violation according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In 2017, 939 people were killed in crashes that involved a vehicle running a traffic light.
Sowegalive reports that deaths attributed to running red lights are at an all-time high.
Safety experts are warning pedestrians and cyclists as well as other motorists to be alert at traffic signals. This comes after statistics revealing that drivers running red lights accounts for at least two deaths each day.
This number means that deaths attributed to failure to obey a traffic control device is at a 10-year high and has increased 28% since 2012.
According to the AAA Foundation, 28% of crash deaths that take place at intersections with a traffic signal are caused by a driver running a red light. Most drivers know that police cannot be at every intersection.
Many jurisdictions have found that when properly installed, red-light cameras decrease the number of fatal red-light running crashes by 21%. The number of overall crashes at intersections with red-light cameras decreased by 14%.
Enforcement is the primary tool that law enforcement can use to help reduce the number of red-light running incidents.
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