The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding motorists to always obey traffic signals as part of national Stop on Red Week.
The campaign, which is an initiative of the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), runs from Sunday, August 7 to Saturday, August 13, 2022. It is designed to bring awareness to the dangers of running red lights and other traffic signals that lead to preventable crash related fatalities.
PennDOT classifies red-light running as an aggressive driving behavior, which puts motorists, passengers, and others on the road at an increased risk of a crash.
The number of crashes involving drivers failing to stop at a red light in PennDOT’s District 1, which includes Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties, is on the rise. After recording 231 red light running crashes in 2019, the figure increased to 239 in 2020 and 280 in 2021, according to PennDOT data.
There was one recorded fatality in the northwest region last year as a result of red-light running crashes and 146 suspected serious injuries.
Nationwide, the NCSR said more than 4.2 million drivers ran red lights in 2021, with more than 1.3 million occurring between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Additionally, Independence Day weekend was ranked atop the list for red light running during holiday travel periods.
Two people died each day in the United States, on average, in red-light related crashes in 2019, and from 2008 to 2019, there were an estimated 9,227 total fatalities.
As the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual states, traffic signals are installed at intersections to control the movement of vehicles and pedestrians. Below is a brief explanation of the meaning behind the lights on traffic signals:
PennDOT has implemented a new type of traffic signal to provide a safer, more efficient left turn for motorists. The flashing yellow arrow indication is a new type of display that replaced the circular green indication for left turns at signalized intersections. The signal is more intuitive to motorists and, according to national data, can reduce left-turn crashes by as much as 20 percent. For more information on correctly using a flashing yellow arrow turn signal, watch this video.
A steady green light means you may drive through the intersection if the road is clear. You may also turn right or left unless a sign tells you not to; however, when turning, you must yield to other vehicles and pedestrians within the intersection.
Below is a conversation we had with Saxon Daugherty, the PennDoT District One Press Safety Officer on the topic;
For more information on traffic safety, visit www.PennDOT.pa.gov/safety.
Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #StopOnRed2022 and #HopeInAction