Without traffic lights, there would be nothing to regulate traffic flow in busy areas, and crashes, injuries and fatalities would increase as a result. Unfortunately, even when traffic signals do exist, a high number of individuals ignore them, and this is why deaths caused by red-light runners have reached a 10-year high.
According to PennLive.com, 939 people died nationwide in 2017 because of red-light runners, which is an increase of 31% since 2009, when this number was at its lowest. In total, 3,300 people lost their lives in crashes at signaled intersections in 2017. Red-light runners were responsible for 28% of all fatalities that occurred in these areas.
Pennsylvania, specifically, did not fare much better. In 2017, we saw 31 fatalities caused by motorists running red lights, rising from 21 such road deaths the year prior. This is the second-highest number of deaths caused by red-light runners here in recent history, with 32 people dying due to these circumstances in 2013.
While these figures are troubling, Pennsylvania’s death rate related to red-light runners falls slightly below the national average.
Cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers at risk
Also concerning is the fact that, in many cases, it is not the red-light runner who dies after offending. In Pennsylvania, 42% of those who died because of red-light runners were not the people who ran a red light, but rather, drivers or passengers traveling in other vehicles. In another 9% of cases, it was either cyclists or pedestrians who died because someone ignored a red light.