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Leslie Gamble
Manager, Public & Government Affairs
O: (405) 753-8040
C: (405) 488-7611

Mark Madeja
Senior Specialist, Public & Government Affairs
O: (918) 748-1074
C: (918) 935-9318

(Video/b-roll of red light running HERE and HERE)

August 29, 2019 -- The number of people killed as the result of drivers running red lights has spiked sharply in recent years, according to analysis of crash data by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. And, more often than not (almost 65% of the time), the victim is not the offending driver.

Statistics indicate that red light running crash deaths jumped almost 30% between 2012 and 2017, the most recent crash data available, with the impatient, distracted and reckless behavior claiming at least 2 lives every day across the U.S.

The most recent crash data available shows 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017 -- a 10-year high.

 “Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures.”

Red Light Running in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, more than 3,000 crashes occurred in 2018, due to drivers sailing through signal lights.

2018 Crashes in which Contributing Factor was listed as either Failure to Yield for Signal Light, or Failure to Stop for Traffic Signal


# of Crashes*



Serious Injury


Minor Injury


Possible Injury






* Please note that these numbers reflect the number of CRASHES, not persons involved in crashes.

(Source: Oklahoma Highway Safety Office)


Prevalent Behavior

According to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, 85% of drivers view red light running as very dangerous, yet nearly one in three say they blew through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have stopped safely.

“Drivers need to check their behaviors including not driving distracted or ‘intexticated’ as AAA’s campaign, ‘Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.’ urges.”  Drivers can take the following actions to prevent red light running:

  • Take the Pledge to Stop Driving Distracted at  Glancing at your phone for 5-seconds while driving is comparable to traveling the length of a football field blindfolded. That’s all it takes to run a red light.
  • Prepare to Stop: Lift your foot off the accelerator and “cover the brake” when preparing to enter any intersection by positioning your right foot just above the brake pedal, without touching it.
  • Use Good Judgement: Monitor “stale” green lights, those that have been green a long time as you’ve approached the intersection. They are more likely to turn yellow as you arrive at the intersection.
  • Tap the Brake: Tap your brakes a couple of times before fully applying them to slow down. This will catch the attention of drivers who may be inattentive or distracted behind you.
  • Drive Defensively: Before you enter an intersection after the light has turned green for you, take a second after the light changes and look both ways before proceeding.   


Pedestrians and cyclists should also stay safe when traveling near intersections. AAA recommends:


  • Wait: Give yourself a few seconds to make sure all cars have come to a complete stop before moving through the intersection.
  • Stay Alert and Listen: Don't take chances and don't wear headphones. Watch what is going on and give your full attention to the environment around you.
  • Be Visible: Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
  • Make Eye Contact: Look at drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before crossing the road in front of them.


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