The traffic light turns green. If you’re like most drivers, you probably assume it’s safe to proceed through the intersection, right? Not necessarily, according to the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR). You could be gambling away your life or livelihood by trustingly proceeding through an intersection without first tapping into some situational awareness.
NCSR recently released its inaugural “Safer Roads Report 2012” on trends in red-light running. In 2011, NCSR evaluated 1,240 red-light safety cameras in 18 states and 142 municipalities with a total population of over 18 million. The results are staggering considering the relatively small number of cameras that were evaluated:
- Over 2.34 million red-light violations were observed in 2011.
- The most violations, 30.7 percent, occurred in the afternoon from 1-5 p.m.
- The fewest violations, 9.75 percent, occurred late night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- You are more likely to see a red-light violator on a Friday (16.15 percent) and less likely to see one on a Sunday (12.4 percent).
- Christmas had a 40 percent lower violation rate than the average day while June 3 earned the prize for the worst day for red-light running
- In terms of major travel periods, Memorial Day Weekend ranked the highest, with over 27 percent more red-light runners than on the average weekend; Independence Day, Labor Day and Halloween were right up there as well.
The NCSR report references a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistic in which intersection-related vehicle accidents were responsible for more than 8,500 deaths in 2011. That’s 8,500 too many!
So what do these statistics say? Perhaps that the juice is definitely not worth the squeeze, that green does not always mean “go,” that some drivers favor expediency over safety, and that proceeding cautiously through an intersection is lesser of an evil than the sound of an impatient horn blaring behind you.
According to these statistics, it’s wiser to fully evaluate the consequences of your actions before forever changing your life before the dust settles. Go green.
J.A. Rodriguez Jr., CEO of Make My Day Strategies LLC, is also an international Fortune 100 EHS senior manager, entrepreneur, a patented inventor, engineer, certified safety professional, professional speaker, member of the Industry Advisory Council at Western New England University, an elected Board Member of the national Voluntary Protection Program Participants’ Association, author of the book Not Intuitively Obvious – Transition to the Professional Work Environment,and an overall great guy.