Put on the brakes! It’s ‘Stop on Red Week’

WASHINGTON – You’re running late and you hit another traffic light. Be warned: This is national Stop on Red Week and police are on the lookout for red-light runners all week.

Prince William County and other police departments across the country are stepping up enforcement to combat the problem of people running red lights. Stop on Red Week goes from Aug. 4 through Aug. 10.

Since the Federal Highway Administration began the program in 1995, communities that have taken part in the weeklong enforcement saw a 15 percent average decrease in red-light runners, according to FHA.

The goal is to reduce the number and the seriousness of car crashes and to raise awareness about the dangers of blowing through a light.

The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running says photo enforcement locally and around the country has improved safety on the roads and reduced the number of drivers who run red lights. In Montgomery County, the number of drivers traveling 10 mph above the speed limits declined by about 70 percent where there were warning signs and speed cameras, according to the organization’s data. In D.C., red light running fatalities were reduced from 16 to two in the first two years of red light cameras, the organization reported.

If you’re caught running a light in Virginia, it means four points on your license and up to $350 fine.

During last year’s Stop on Red Week, more than 26,000 drivers in 15 states received a red-light camera ticket, according to the National Coalition for Safer Roads. During the 2012 Stop on Red Week, Maryland had the fourth highest red- light camera tickets, with 1,431. In first place was Florida (8,374), taking second place was New York (5,538) and in third place was Missouri (3,273).

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