FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement of Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, on National Stop on Red Week 2023
(Washington-August 9, 2023) This first full week of August is “National Stop on Red Week,” a reminder for all drivers to obey all traffic lights. More than 1,100 people were killed in crashes that involved red light running in 2021, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles hit by a driver running a red light. That same year, an estimated 127,000 people were injured in red light running crashes.
Advocates commends National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) President Melissa Wandall for her continued leadership to raise awareness about the dangers posed by red light running and the need to advance proven solutions to end this roadway safety plight.
Advocates, in partnership with other safety organizations, developed the Automated Enforcement (AE) Checklist. The checklist provides commonsense ways to augment traditional enforcement to deter dangerous driving behaviors, reduce speeding, and curb red light running fatalities and injuries. Multiple studies have found significant reductions in red light violations and crashes when cameras are in use. These studies also show crash rates rise when AE programs are stopped.
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), but there are restrictions on how the funds can be used. We urge Congress to remove those limitations so that states can use this verified technology as part of their comprehensive traffic safety toolkits.
The IIJA also required the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue minimum performance standards for automatic emergency braking (AEB) for new cars and heavy trucks, which are proven to reduce crashes and can mitigate or prevent collisions caused by red light running. The DOT recently issued Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (NPRMs) for AEB in passenger cars and light trucks and for trucks over 10,000 pounds, for which we commended them. It is essential that comprehensive Final Rules be issued expeditiously to reduce the soaring number of motor vehicle crash deaths and injuries occurring on our roads.
Red light crashes are 100 percent preventable. This “National Stop on Red Week” we remind every driver to stay alert and focused on the driving task without distraction; obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs; and make sure every passenger in the vehicle is properly restrained.
Media Contact: Helen Jonsen