You’re approaching an intersection and the light is yellow. Do you speed up to make it through or do you slow down and get ready to stop? If you’re an average driver in this country, you probably accelerate when you see a yellow light or maybe even when you see a red one.

 At 1stCertified Collision Center, we constantly stress driving safety, because in the end, we don’t want serious accidents to harm anyone and especially our valued customers. If all the accidents in this country were injury-free fender benders, we’d be fine with it.

Scary Numbers
The facts are staggering. Red light runners cause hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year. In 2013, 697 people were killed and an estimated 127,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running. About half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and occupants in other vehicles who were hit by the red light runners.

Red Light Cameras: A Viable Solution?
Red light cameras are an effective way to discourage red light running. Enforcement is the best way to get people to comply with any law, but it’s impossible for police to be at every intersection. Cameras can fill the void.
Many critics contend that cameras violate drivers’ privacy, but lawmakers and other experts say that’s a bunch of hooey. There’s no reason to expect privacy on a public road, so these assertions are ridiculous. Driving is a regulated activity, and people who obtain licenses are agreeing to abide by certain rules. Red light cameras are a mechanism to catch people who break those rules, just like traditional enforcement.

Timing is Crucial
Proper signal timing makes intersections safer. Traffic signals should have adequate yellow time and a short window when all signals are red. This reduces red light running and leads to fewer crashes. Many cities are becoming more vigilant by properly timing their traffic lights and as a result, the accident numbers in those metro areas are dropping.

So, take a close look at your driving skills and ask yourself—am I a red light runner? If the answer is yes (or maybe) now is the time to slow down and be a better, safer motorist. Give yourself enough time and plan ahead, so that you won’t have to rush around all the time. Running red lights is a risky (and potentially dangerous) practice, so avoid it at all costs and never speed up when you see a yellow light.