Running red lights is dangerous driving behavior for obvious reasons. According to a new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, red-light running fatalities reached a ten-year high in 2017. A total of 939 people were killed on U.S. roadways because drivers failed to wait for the signal to change. Nearly half the people killed in red-light running accidents were passengers or people in other vehicles, and more than 5% were bicyclists or pedestrians.
How Many Drivers Run Red Lights?
As reported by AAA, 28% of the traffic fatalities that occurred at signalized intersections in 2017 were caused by drivers running red lights. In AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, 85% of drivers said that running red lights is extremely dangerous. However, nearly one-third of those drivers admitted to running a red light within the past 30 days.
More than 30% admitted that they took the chance because they didn’t think law enforcement would stop them. Whether the police stop them or not, failure to obey traffic signals is against the law, and a driver could go to jail for running a red light if it caused a fatal accident.
Why Drivers Run Red Lights
Drivers may run red lights for any of the following reasons:
- Distracted driving: The driver is texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, or otherwise distracted, and does not register that the light is red.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Impaired driving often involves impaired judgment and dangerous driving decisions.
- Increasing speed when the light turns yellow: Drivers trying to get through a traffic light before it turns red may increase their speed when the light turns yellow, creating the risk of a serious accident. Unless the vehicle is within 50 feet of the intersection when the light turns from green to yellow, it is illegal in New Jersey to speed up and go through the light.
Criminal Penalties for Running a Red Light in New Jersey
Failing to stop at a red light is a reckless choice that puts other motorists at risk. Penalties are severe for this violation in New Jersey – up to 15 days of jail time, two motor vehicle points, and a fine of up to $200. Fines are doubled if the driver ran a red light in an area with a 65-mph speed limit, in a construction zone, or an area designated as a safe corridor.
Liability for Red Light Running Accidents
When a driver recklessly blows through a red light, it can cause catastrophic injuries to other motorists, who usually have no warning before the collision. Drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents by running red lights can and should be held accountable for the harm they cause to others. If you or your loved one has been hurt in such an accident, our experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys can assist you with a claim against the negligent driver to pursue full and fair compensation. Depending on the extent and nature of your injuries, damages could be substantial.
Why Choose Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C.?
- We offer a big firm superior experience, with personalized, small firm attention.
- Gabriel Lependorf and David Silverstein each have more than 25 years of experience.
- We employ investigators, medical professionals, engineers, economists, and accident investigators as needed, to help prove your claim.
- Our firm has been awarded Superb rating on Avvo, as well as membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Call Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. at (609) 240-0040 today to schedule a free consultation. If a driver who ran a red light caused your accident and injuries, we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.