INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 5, 2015) - Are you guilty of ever running a red light over the years? It happens every day across the country and a new tool released Wednesday shows how big the problem has become.
An interactive map shows the number of fatalities for an area and exactly where they've happened, right down to the intersection.
"At the National Coalition for Safer Roads we talk about red light running, we talk about the fatalities, we talk about the fact that we don’t want people to end up in the shoes of the victim or the person that ends up being the violator because it’s a life-altering decision," said Melissa Wandall, president of the National Coalition for Safer Roads. "So we wanted to launch this interactive map to get people involved in the process so they can see for themselves the numbers and that those numbers represent lives lost."
Wandall understands the pain red light running can cause. Between 2004 and 2013, there were 7,799 fatalities in the United States and her husband was one of them.
He was killed by a red light runner two weeks before she gave birth to their daughter.
"It is a negligible and a preventable act and we want people to take part and be a force for us out there and understand by looking at it and seeing the visual," said Wandall. "We don’t want it to be you and we don’t want you to do it to somebody else. You have the power to stop on red."
The NCSR says data shows Fridays were the worst day for intersection safety last year and drivers most frequently run red lights in the afternoon.
The NCSR also says about half of the deaths in red-light running crashes are pedestrians, bicyclists and occupants in other vehicles that are hit by the red-light runners and that one in three Americans know someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light running crash.
The cost to society of all crashes exceeds $230 billion annually.
"We want to honor those lives lost but at the same time empower people to make a difference in this life by stopping on red," said Wandall. "Please be mindful. Put down all of your devices and just drive. Take a moment and stop on red and when you’re at that red light and the light turns green, don’t jump that light, wait and look all around you before you go through that intersection."
The interactive map was released as part of National Stop on Red Week.
Check out the map here.
You can share your personal story here.
Click here for the NCSR's top 10 reasons to stop on red.