The number of people dying in crashes caused by red-light runners is on the rise, and Maryland ranks high in terms of the number of road deaths it sees resulting from these circumstances. The rising number of red-light-related road deaths across Maryland and the rest of the nation suggests that communities must do more to protect the motoring public.
According to CBS Baltimore, Maryland is currently 18th in the nation in terms of the number of people dying due to red-light runners. Nationally, the number of lives lost due to drivers running red lights has reached a 10-year high.
By the numbers
On a national level, 939 people died because of red-light runners in 2017. This is an almost 30% increase over the number of lives lost due to these circumstances in 2012. In Maryland, specifically, 147 people died in red-light crashes between 2008 and 2017.
Most of the people who die because of red-light running are not those who actually run the red lights. The offending driver only loses his or her life in red-light crashes in about 30% of cases. In 61% of cases, those who died were either drivers or passengers traveling in other vehicles.
Recommended safety measures
The rising number of red-light-related road deaths is raising important questions about how to reduce this dangerous driving behavior. Research shows that installing red-light cameras is an effective means of preventing these deaths.
Communities that installed red-light cameras found that fatal crashes caused by drivers running red lights declined by 21% in the aftermath. All types of fatal crashes at intersections with traffic signals declined by 14% following the installation of red-light cameras.