Safety is the goal during National Stop on Red Week

Safety is the goal during National Stop on Red Week

August 4, 2015

Red means STOP!

Red means STOP!

It’s the rule of the road most of us were taught first, long before we ever learned to drive.

Simple and straightforward, a red light means you’ve got to stop (and stay stopped for as long as the light stays red). That applies whether you’re driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle or walking…

Unfortunately, red-light running is an issue across the country, and the consequences can be deadly. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2013, 697 people nationwide were killed in crashes that involved red-light running. According to the Federal Highway Association, an estimated 165,000 people are injured annually by red-light running.

ADOT’s 2014 Crash Facts Report shows that there were at least 26 fatal crashes in Arizona last year in which drivers were cited for disregarding a traffic signal, such as running a red light, and 20 additional fatal crashes when drivers were cited for ignoring a stop sign. There were at least 2,653 crashes that resulted in injuries because a driver failed to stop at a red light or a stop sign.

Those numbers are why National Stop on Red Week takes place the first week of August every year to bring attention to this serious safety issue.

For our part, we’d like to remind everyone to pay attention and focus on safe driving behaviors on the road. That includes stopping at red lights and stop signs, buckling up, obeying speed limits, avoiding distractions and never driving while impaired.

By obeying traffic signals, you’re not only keeping yourself and others safe, you’re also saving time and money.

If you run a red light (or a flashing red light) and receive a traffic citation, upon conviction of that violation you will be required to attend Traffic Survival School (TSS). MVD is required by law to order the completion of TSS for every red light conviction reported by the courts. Failure to complete the course results in an indefinite suspension of your driving privilege. You can read more about the penalties and fines associated with red-light running on our website.

Finally, since we’re on the subject of traffic signals, you might want to review what the different lights indicate. For example, a yellow light does NOT mean you should speed up to “beat the light” – that’s actually illegal and can cause a crash. For a refresher on what each light, arrow and flashing signal mean, take a look at this section from the Arizona Driver License Manual.

“Crashes caused by drivers who ignore red lights and stop signs are among the easiest to prevent,” Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski said at the start of National Stop on Red Week. “All it takes is for drivers to slow down, put distractions away and remember that red means stop.”

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