Study Finds Running a Red Light Can Be Deadly

July 14, 2000

A new study released yesterday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that Arizona has a far higher rate of fatal red light running crashes than any other state with 7.1 deaths per 100,000 people, while Phoenix ranked as the leading city with 10.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

In fact, three of the four cities with the highest rates of fatal red light running crashes are in Arizona (Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson). In response to these deadly statistics, the state has begun camera enforcement in several cities, and there are plans to install the cameras in some of Phoenix’s intersections by year’s end.

The cameras, which are being used to enforce traffic laws in about 40 U.S. communities, reduce red light running by roughly 40 percent, according to IIHS research. In releasing the data, the IIHS endorsed the use of red light cameras. In California, red light running claimed 956 lives (3 deaths per 100,000 people) during 1992-98.

Just like Arizona, many California cities including Los Angeles have installed cameras at dangerous intersections in hopes of combating this serious (and deadly) problem. Other cities are finding the need to expand the program to more intersections.

For example, San Diego is expanding its program from four cameras to 16, while San Francisco is expanding from cameras at five intersections to 30-35 intersections.

Other states with high death rates in red light running crashes include Nevada, Michigan, Texas, Alabama, New Mexico, Florida and Delaware. The study not only found that red light running factors into more than 800 deaths and 200,000 injuries annually, but also that total deaths in these types of crashes reached close to 6,000 during 1992-98.

Topics Arizona

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