Traffic signals exist in locations where the flow of traffic is too heavy for motorists to safely navigate intersections without them, but they only enhance safety if people abide by what they say. Regrettably, many drivers fail to heed traffic lights. When they blow through red lights, fatalities frequently result.
In fact, CBS Austin reports that road deaths caused by drivers who run red lights have reached a 10-year high across Texas and the rest of the nation, calling attention to a growing problem that kills hundreds of people every year.
Texas currently sees the sixth-highest number of fatalities resulting from red-light runners in the nation, with only five states seeing more deaths caused by these circumstances. Nationally, an average of two people pass away every day because drivers run red lights. In about half of all these cases, the people who die are not, in fact, the same people who blew through the red lights in the first place.
Also troubling is the fact that many drivers across Texas and the nation seem to have hypocritical opinions about blowing through red lights. While the vast majority of American motorists wholeheartedly agree that running red lights is highly dangerous, about one in three licensed drivers also say that they have done so within the last 30 days.
Questionable camera bans
Many states across the nation are increasingly relying on traffic cameras at signaled intersections to raise awareness of dangers and help catch red-light runners. However, Texas recently banned the use of red-light cameras, even though research indicates that such cameras reduce deaths caused by red-light runners in major cities by more than 20%.
You should never count on other drivers to heed the directions of traffic cameras. To enhance your safety when making your way through traffic signals, slow down, remain highly aware of your surroundings and tap your brakes when approaching the intersection.