Traffic fatalities caused by drivers who run red lights are at a 10-year high across the country — that’s according to a new AAA study.
The State Department of Transportation said earlier this year that in eight years — 13 people were killed by red-light-runners.
A new law — signed in June — will bring red-light photo-enforcement a step closer to reality.
The numbers in the AAA study are staggering — because they represent human lives.
Drivers who run red lights kill at least two people a day.
They cause 28 percent of fatalities at signalized intersections.
Forty-six percent of people in the other cars — die — while five percent are pedestrians or bicyclists.
Thirty-five percent of red-light-runners die in the crashes they cause.
Daniel Alexander, co-Executive Director of the Hawaii Bicycling League, says, “The AAA in the study they released, said that cities that have red light cameras in place have 21 percent lower fatalities from people running red lights.”
The new law will have the state DOT create policies for photo-enforcement pilot projects in each county.
Alexander says, “Every other light you’re at, you see someone running, where you’re kind of scared to go out on the green light when it turns whether you’re walking or you’re driving in a car, so I think the people of Hawaii really want to have everyone follow the rules and want to feel like, it’s one more thing to keep them safe while they’re on the road.”
The Honolulu Police Department testified in favor of photo enforcement — but also in favor of personal accountability.
Andre Peters, acting Captain of the Traffic Division in February, testified that:
“Everyone on the roadway needs to be vigilant and take responsibility for their own personal safety.”
“Motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists need to be aware of their surroundings and also obey traffic laws.”
The Hawaii Bicycling League has been among those pushing for adoption of the new photo enforcement law.
Alexander says, “We’re looking forward to the results of that and we hope that the Legislature will act on it next year and hopefully we’ll see these put into place without further delay — and we can start saving people’s lives here on our streets.”
Unlike the failed Van-Cam program, in which a third-party vendor was paid for each ticket issued — either the state — or the state in partnership with the county — would be responsible for issuing tickets under the new law.
We sent an inquiry to the state DOT today but did not hear back.
The law requires the department to report on its progress to lawmakers before the start of the legislative session.
Near an intersection? Safety tips for:
- Prepare to Stop
- Use Good Judgment
- Tap the Brake
- Drive Defensively
Pedestrians and cyclists:
- Stay Alert and Listen
- Be Visible
- Make Eye Contact