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National Effort Spotlights Red Light Running

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

National Effort Spotlights Red Light Running

Federal Highway Administration
August 31, 2001

FHWA 31-01
Friday, August 31, 2001
FHWA, TaMara McCrae (202) 366-0660
ATS, Harry Teter (800) 556-7890

To raise awareness about the danger red light running poses to motorists and pedestrians, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Trauma Society (ATS) are sponsoring the fourth annual “National Stop on Red Week” Sept. 1–7. Nearly 1,000 Americans lose their lives each year in red light running crashes.

“That’s a deadly cost imposed on our nation,” said Federal Highway Deputy Executive Director Vince Schimmoller. “We applaud local communities for helping to make people aware that a split second decision to run a red light can easily take a life. Their work supports safety which is President Bush’s highest transportation priority.”

According to Department statistics, in 1999, the last year for which these statistics are available, there were nearly 91,000 crashes in intersections with red lights. These crashes resulted in more than 90,000 injuries and 956 fatalities.

“We all remain very concerned about red light running and the loss of nearly 1000 Americans each year,” said ATS Executive Director Harry Teter. “However, in this program and others, we also want people to recognize that 1000 families are also traumatized by these crashes. The health community believes that this “Second Trauma” is often as harmful as the car crash. It just gives us one more reason to strive even harder to make people aware that running red lights is dangerous and extremely harmful.”

This year’s National Stop on Red Week theme is “Consider the Cost” to encourage more traffic safety interest groups, law enforcement agencies, hospitals and other medical care providers, law makers and others to initiate or continue local programs to combat red light running.

Schimmoller pointed out that FHWA and ATS, in collaboration with other partners such as the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), are working to provide guidance, support and assistance to local communities in all aspects of engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency response and care as part of the national program.

Communities across the country are raising awareness of red light running through press conferences, increased enforcement, and distribution of educational materials and other activities. The Stop Red Light Running program provides those interested in promoting highway safety with technical and program support for local initiatives. A website for further information is available at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/programs/srlr.htm.

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