The danger of running red lights
Chances are, you've witnessed someone running a red light. New numbers are shedding light on just how big the problem is. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, in a 10-year period, nearly 7,800 people were killed by wrecks caused by red light runners.
This week is "Stop On Red Week 2015" and it's a chance to warn drivers about the dangers that come from hitting the gas, instead of the brake when you see red.
In 2003, Melissa Wandall's life changed forever. "October 24, 2003, my husband and my brother ran out to get a very quick bite to eat. I was home, I was 9 months pregnant. I made the decision not to go," explains Melissa.
They were almost back home, at the last light, when another driver ran the red light. "He T-boned my brother's car and killed my husband instantly. We were 9 months pregnant at the time and our daughter, Madison Grace was born two weeks later. It's just as emotional today as it was the night that it happened," chokes back Melissa.
Now Melissa is the president of the National Coalition for Safer Roads and is working to help bring awareness to "Stop on Red Week."
"From 2004 to 2013, we had 7,799 people that have been killed by red light running alone," she says.
Based on those fatal wrecks, the organization has launched an interactive map allowing you to search the most dangerous intersections around you. The map shows seven people have been killed in wrecks on GA-316 because of red light runners, four of them were killed at the intersection with Winder Highway.
"No it doesn't surprise me at all, I can see that, definitely can see that," says Carlos Tanner, from Dacula.
The numbers from red light cameras across the country show drivers run more red lights in the afternoon and on Fridays.
"It's a mess here. There's always accidents here, passing through. I travel this road all the time," adds Carlos.
The next time you hit the gas on red, Melissa wants you to think about her husband and the other 7,799 people who were caught in the crossfire. "We want to not only honor the lives lost, but we want to prevent this from continuing to happen. Red light running is negligible but it's preventable and we all have the power to stop on red and it truly saves lives," states Melissa.
There are a handful of intersections around Atlanta with reports of multiple wrecks and fatalities. From dangerous intersections in Decatur, Lithia Springs,
Acworth and Jasper.
You can check out the full interactive map, from the National Coalition for Safer Roads at www.stoponredweek.com.
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