Remember: Red means STOP

Published 8:16 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019


The Advocate-Messenger

From the time we’re toddlers we begin to learn the concept of stop and go. The youngest of children can tell you “red means stop and green means go.”

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It seems to be a concept many forget as they age, though.

In fact, hundreds of people die each year in accidents caused by someone’s failure to heed the age-old concept.

August is a time to remind people of the importance of red lights for a number of reasons. This week marks Stop on Red Week, a reminder of the importance of stopping at red lights.

August is also the time many children will head back to school, including in Danville and Boyle County, making it an appropriate time to remind motorists of the importance of stopping for school buses and flashing red lights.

According to the National Coalition for Safer Roads, 880 people were killed in crashes caused by running a red light in 2017. That same year, an estimated 132,000 people were injured by red light running.

Between 2004-16, an estimated 10,125 people were killed in red-light running related crashes.

More than 3.8 million drivers received a red-light running violation in 2016.

More than half of the deaths in red-light running crashes are pedestrians, bicyclists and occupants in vehicles other than the vehicle running the red light.

The U.S. Department of Transportation found one in three Americans know someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light running crash.

While the campaign focuses on red lights, there are also many people who ignore stop signs or do not come to a full stop at signs. Many people also do not adhere to the stop signs on school buses, putting thousands of children at danger each year.

According to the NCSR, in 2014, an estimated 13 million drivers illegally passed school buses while their stop arms are deployed.

In Kentucky, it is against the law to pass school buses stopped to let children board or exit.

The law states that when a school bus is stopped on a two-lane road, traffic from both sides must stop. One a two-way road with four or more lanes, those following behind the bus must stop. Those who do not follow this law can face hefty fines up to $500 and even up to six months in jail.

There are many reasons to stop at red lights and stop signs, but most simply, it’s the law.

Nearly 93 percent of drivers say it is unacceptable to go through red-lights, yet nearly 43 percent admitted to doing so in the past 30 days.

The fatal outcome of red-light running is entirely preventable.

There’s nothing so important that we can’t take the time to adhere to the adage we’ve known since childhood: Red means stop. If we stick to that, we can make our roads safer. Most importantly, we can save hundreds of lives each year.