FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2022
CONTACT: Pete Daniels / firstname.lastname@example.org / 301-442-2249 (C)
Statement of Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), On National Stop on Red Week 2022
Sunday, August 7, 2022 marks the start of “National Stop on Red Week.” In 2020, 928 people were killed in red light running crashes, half of which were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in vehicles other than the vehicle running the red light. That same year an estimated 115,741 people were injured in red light running crashes. Red light running is a serious issue in need of substantiated solutions.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), in partnership with other safety organizations, developed the Automated Enforcement (AE) Checklist, a resource for communities seeking to leverage the potential of AE through red light and speed camera programs. A well-designed, effectively implemented AE program is proven to deter red light running and promote intersection safety. The use of safety cameras augments traditional enforcement in a neutral manner to curb red light running as well as speeding and helps to protect all road users. The benefits of red light cameras are clear, with multiple studies finding significant reductions in red light violations and crashes when cameras are in use. Conversely, crash rates rise when AE programs stop.
Crash deaths on our roadways have been skyrocketing, and effective countermeasures such as AE must be employed without delay. While Congress authorized federal funds for the use of AE in work and school zones as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, Pub. L. 117-58), all restrictions on funding for AE programs should be removed. States should be incentivized to employ this proven technology as a component of a comprehensive safety program.
Vehicle safety technology also has a key role to play in preventing crashes. All new vehicles should be equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including automatic emergency braking (AEB) that responds to pedestrians and bicyclists. Advocates urges the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to advance performance standards for the technology expeditiously to ensure that all road users benefit from this proven lifesaver. Technology that allows vehicles to send and receive information to other vehicles, infrastructure and the entire roadway environment including other road users or “everything” (V2V, VTI, V2X) has not yet realized its potential and is also ripe for DOT action. This technology can help to amplify the effectiveness of vehicle-based safety technology. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) includes requiring ADAS and connected vehicle technologies in its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.
Advocates commends National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) President Melissa Wandall for her ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the dangers posed by red light running and the need to advance proven solutions to curb this persistent threat on our roadways. This “National Stop on Red Week,” we urge all drivers to stay alert and focused on the driving task, obey speed limits, come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs, and make certain all vehicle occupants are properly restrained. Red light running crashes are 100 percent preventable.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to improve road safety in the U.S. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs. @SafeRoadsNow