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'You're the Key' to Red Light Safety

04 August 2021

From Leslie Tomaino, Naval Safety Center Safety Promotions

Sponsored by the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), National Stop on Red Week 2021 is Aug. 1-7. While this week’s focus is National Stop on Red, the Naval Safety Center (NAVSAFECEN) would like to encourage drivers to be vigilant year-round. Created by the Federal Highway Administration, National Stop on Red Week aims to educate drivers about the dangers of red-light running and how to reduce the number and severity of crashes.

Additionally, NAVSAFECEN launched a Motor Vehicle Safety Campaign on April 26 to increase awareness of the top contributing factors to motor vehicle accidents and inform Sailors and Marines on ways they can mitigate risk. The campaign goes beyond private motor vehicles, such as automobiles, trucks and motorcycles, and includes vehicle safety practices for recreational all-terrain vehicles, electric scooters and boating. Red-light running is just one of many illegal and high-risk behaviors.
 
Red-light safety cameras are part of a comprehensive effort to improve traffic safety for all motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who use our roads. Even so, it takes individual effort – your effort – to stop the trend. In 2019, 846 people were killed and an estimated 143,000 were injured in crashes that involved red-light running. About half of those killed in red-light crashes are pedestrians, cyclists and people other than the individual running the red light.
 
The U.S. Department of Transportation found that one in three Americans know someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light running crash. There were 445,382 drivers cited for running red lights on Fridays in 2020, making it the deadliest day for red-light running. Here are six more staggering statistics to further drive home (pun intended) why drivers should NEVER run a red light.
 
1. One in three Americans know someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light running crash.
2. On average, two people died each day in red-light running crashes in the U.S. in 2019.
3. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.
4. In 2020, the U.S. witnessed the largest number of motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. since 1924.
5. Over half of the deaths in red-light running crashes are pedestrians, bicyclists and occupants in vehicles other than the driver running the red light.
6. According to the American Automobile Association, in 2019, 86% of surveyed drivers said it is unacceptable to run red lights.
 
Safety is the responsibility of every driver – not just during Stop on Red Week – but every day and every time someone gets behind the wheel. Innocent lives are lost every day because drivers recklessly decide to run red lights. We need to realize we “are the key” to protecting our children, our families and our communities from the dangerous and often fatal behavior of red-light runners. 
 
For additional resources on safety awareness, visit NAVSAFECEN’s website, https://navalsafetycenter.navy.mil, or visit NCSR’s website at https://ncsrsafety.org/stop-on-red-week-2021/ for Stop on Red Week campaign resources.

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