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Seeing Red, California Leads U.S. In This Category

When it comes to plowing through intersections trying to beat a red light on the Fourth of July holiday, Californians take the checkered flag.

If you're in Orange County and you're  trying to squeeze past that red light, you might think again. 

You might become a statistic.

For residents of California, Florida, Maryland and Texas, the July 4th travel period ranks as the riskiest holiday travel period of the year for running red lights, according to research from the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR).

The Safer Roads Report 2012: Trends in Red-Light Running ranks the most dangerous holiday travel periods for intersection safety. Independence Day came in a close second overall behind Memorial Day as the worst holiday for road safety with more than 25,000 red-light running violations during the fourth of July travel period in 2011.

Althought the Fourth ranked second highest overall, it is the top-ranked holiday travel period for red-light running in California, Florida, Maryland and Texas.

California was the No. 1 offender.

  • California—42.6% more red-light violations occur during the 4th of July travel period than the lowest ranked holiday travel period in the state (Super Bowl)
  • Florida—39% more red-light violations occur during the 4th of July travel period than the lowest ranked holiday travel period in the state (Christmas)
  • Maryland—38% more red-light violations occur during the 4th of July travel period than the lowest ranked holiday travel period in the state (Super Bowl)
  • Texas—37.8% more red-light violations occur during the 4th of July travel period than the lowest ranked holiday travel period in the state (Super Bowl)

A departure from the overall trend was found in Arizona. The Fourth of July travel period ranked lowest in red-light violations when compared to all other holiday travel periods in Arizona.

“Drivers should be extra cautious on the roads during all highly trafficked holiday travel periods,” said David Kelly, president and executive director of the NCSR, and former acting administrator of NHTSA. “Statistics about red-light running and overall intersection safety make this fact more tangible and heighten awareness about the risks that dangerous drivers create for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, intersection-related vehicle accidents caused more than 8,500 casualties in 2011. It is clear that red-light running remains an issue on roadways year round, beyond the peak of violations during holiday travel periods.

For more information on NCSR’s Safer Roads Report 2012: Trends in Red-Light Running, visit NCSRsafety.org.

Rob July 04, 2012 at 03:55 PM
As proven in study after study the solution is quite simple.... extend the length of the yellow light. (Look at LA and Loma Linda).
Jim July 04, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Not revealed in this article is that the NCSR is the bought-and-paid-for lobby arm of ATS, the red light camera company. So, you should take what they say with a grain of salt. Every California motorist needs to know about Snitch Tickets, fake/phishing tickets sent out by the police to bluff the registered owner into identifying the actual driver of the car. (Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Garden Grove, Laguna Woods, Los Alamitos, Oceanside, Poway, Santa Ana, Solana Beach and Vista use them.) Snitch Tickets have not been filed with the court, so they don't say "Notice to Appear," don't have the court's addr. and phone #, and usually say (on the back, in small letters), "Do not contact the court about this notice." Since they have NOT been filed with the court, they have no legal weight whatsoever. You can ignore a Snitch Ticket. If in doubt, Google the term. And once you understand what a Snitch Ticket is, tell your friends, so that they won't get tricked.
George September 01, 2012 at 09:27 PM
These red-light cameras do very little to promote safety. They actually ticket a lot of people making safe right-hand turns. In Northern California they are often located in poorer communities without access to inexpensive traffic attorneys. So the $$$ keeps rolling in and nothing is done to remedy the situation. There is an awful bill (Joe Simitian's SB 1303) on Governor Brown's desk right now. Google it and, if you agree with me, email Brown at gov.ca.gov and urge him to veto this bill.

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