SuperTalk Mississippi

Running a Red Light Can Be Deadly: MDOT Starts Awareness Campaign

JACKSON, Miss.–You’ve more than likely been at an intersection when someone ran a red light. In fact, you may have even seen a wreck or two because of it. Now the Miss. Dept. of Transportation is encouraging communities around the state to make Mississippians aware that running a red light is not only illegal, but can be deadly.

Appropriately named, the “Stop Red Light-Running” campaign is being kicked off by the Federal Highway Administration and MDOT.

The agencies cited a 2008 report that said there were nearly 8,000 people killed that year because of people running red lights. There were over 700,000 people injured.

And if you’ve seen it happen, you’re definitely not by yourself. A survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the American Trauma Society (ATS), said two out of three Americans see other drivers run red-lights almost every day.

The survey, which polled 800 licensed drivers between the ages of 18 and 65, also found that:

  • Ninety-six percent of Americans fear a red-light-runner will hit them when they enter an intersection.
  • One in three Americans claim they personally know someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light running crash—similar to the percentage of people who know someone killed or injured by a drunk driver.
  • About 21 percent said they feel that drunk driving incidents are decreasing, but only 6 percent felt that incidents of red-light running were decreasing.

“The time saved by avoiding a red-light is not worth the potential cost in human lives,” said MDOT executive director Melinda McGrath. “Please use caution when traveling through intersections, especially near work zones.”

The number of fatal crashes at traffic signals is rising faster nationwide than any other type of fatal crash. It is often a result of aggressive driving and therefore is completely preventable. The survey also asked drivers to speculate as to why other motorists run red-lights. The response—60 percent—was that they were in a hurry.


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