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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

September 3, 2003
FHWA, TaMara McCrae (202) 366-0660
ATS, Harry Teter (800) 556-7890
ITE, Thomas Brahms (202) 289 0222
FHWA 27-03

National Effort Spotlights Red Light Running

To increase safety and raise awareness of the danger red light running poses to motorists and pedestrians, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Trauma Society (ATS), and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) are sponsoring the sixth annual “National Stop on Red Week” from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, 2003. Almost 900 people lose their lives each year in red light running crashes and thousands more are injured.

“Red light running continues to be a problem in many communities and is a deadly cost imposed on our nation,” said FHWA Deputy Administrator Rick Capka. “Motorist must stop for red lights – there are no excuses.”

Capka said that “Stop Red Light Running” strategies and other measures are effective in reducing these preventable deaths and injuries and that the partnerships to help educate citizens about the dangers of red light running could are important.

In 2001, almost 220,000 red light running crashes occurred in intersections. These crashes resulted in as many as 180,000 injuries and almost 900 fatalities and exacted a toll in excess of $12 billion on the U.S. economy.

“Running red lights is a senseless, irresponsible and potentially deadly act,” said ATS Executive Directory Harry Teter. “On a daily basis, our nation’s trauma centers see the results of this act. It can and must stop. We urge every community to educate their citizens about this and then enforce the law that says clearly, ‘stop on red.’”

"Traffic signal design, operations, and maintenance can play a role in reducing the percentage of motorists running red lights,” states Thomas Brahms, Executive Director of ITE. “The use of traffic engineering tools combined with continuous public education and law enforcement programs can help reduce red light running crashes and fatalities."

Capka pointed out that FHWA, ATS, and ITE in collaboration with partners such as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and others, are developing materials that will provide guidance, support and assistance to local communities in all aspects of engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency response and care as part of the national program.

Communities across the country are raising awareness of red light running through press conferences, increased enforcement, and distribution of educational materials and other activities. The Stop Red Light Running program provides those interested in promoting highway safety with technical and program support for local initiatives. A web site for further information is available at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/programs/srlr.htm


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