This is National Stop on Red Week

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and the Federal Highway Administration remind everyone that the tenth annual National Stop on Red Week began Aug. 5 and continues through Aug. 11.

"We're all in a hurry these days, and there's a lot of construction and congestion, but please remember to stop when the light is red," says Paul Tait, SEMCOG Executive Director. "And even when the light is green for you, make sure that the vehicle with the red light has actually stopped before proceeding through the intersection."

In 2006, 37,149 traffic crashes took place at signalized intersections in Southeast Michigan (down from 40,212 crashes in 2005); 10.7 percent of those (or 4,298) involved red-light runners. Of the 60 crashes that resulted in fatalities at signalized intersections, red-light runners were involved more than 28 percent of the time. More than 4,298 crashes that occurred at signalized intersections in 2006 (a decrease from 2005 of more than 500) in Southeast Michigan could have been avoided by one simple action--stopping when the traffic light was red. Seventeen of those crashes (five more than in 2005) were fatal, SEMCOG says. "We at SEMCOG hope that these statistics help to drive home the fact that there are serious problems at lighted intersections," says Tait.

While the red-light running numbers are still high, they have been declining. Why? In Southeast Michigan, that is likely due to some recent engineering improvements, according to SEMCOG:

  • Increased signal retiming to optimize green time, reduce traffic delay, and promote progression on corridors reduces motorist frustration and their inclination to run red lights.
  • Adding the all-red phase to a traffic signal (where all approaches have a red-signal displayed at the same time) reduces crashes resulting from red-light running.
  • Providing better visibility by placing traffic signals on the far side of the intersection rather than over the middle of the intersection has reduced red-light running by up to 81 percent.

Additional information on the nation campaign can be found at www.stopredlightrunning.com.

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