Red-light running is a major cause of injury and road deaths across the nation. Studies show that Kentucky sees more red-light-running deaths than most states. The number of people dying in such crashes is also rising rapidly, creating questions about what cities and towns might do to make signaled intersections safer.
According to the Lane Report, Kentucky was seventh in the nation in 2019 in terms of the number of people who died in crashes caused by red-light runners. Also, between 2008 and 2017, 150 people died in Kentucky as a result of other drivers blowing red lights.
Red-light-related fatalities increasing
Research shows that the number of people dying in crashes caused by red-light runners rose almost 30% across the nation between 2008 and 2017. In 2017, there were 939 fatalities resulting from drivers blowing through red lights, which was a 10-year high. Also, most of those who die in crashes caused by red-light runners are not those who run the red lights, but rather, those driving or traveling in other cars. Impatience, driver distraction and recklessness are frequent factors in fatal crashes taking place at traffic signals.
Red-light-related fatality reduction
According to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, when communities install red-light cameras at signaled intersections, it reduces fatal red-light crashes quite a bit. Adding cameras to intersections in large cities cut fatality rates by 21%. Adding them to all types of signaled intersections reduces fatalities by 14%.
While communities might take such steps to lower fatality rates at traffic signals, motorists, too, play an important role in reducing these types of crashes.