Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Running red lights leads to serious consequences

Red-light running remains a serious concern in Maryland and around the country. An estimated 165,000 people are injured by red-light runners each year. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 762 fatalities resulted from people who had broken the law and ran red lights at intersections causing crashes, and approximately half of those victims were not the violators, but pedestrians, drivers or passengers hit by the person running the red light.

In a 1999 survey, one in three respondents claimed that they knew someone who had been injured or killed in a red-light related intersection accident caused by a negligent driver. In another survey, 97 percent of drivers believed that those who run red lights are a threat to others who are on the road. Nevertheless, red-light running remains a major safety concern at intersections despite measures such as cameras and automated enforcement.

Red-light laws vary according to location and area ordinances. A "permissive yellow" rule allows the driver to enter the intersection at anytime during the yellow light interval, and the violation occurs if the vehicle enters the intersection after the onset of the red light. Under a "restrictive yellow" rule, it is illegal for a driver to enter or be in the intersection while the signal is red. If the driver has not cleared the intersection by the onset of the red light, he or she is in violation.

People who have been victims of car crashes resulting from red-light runners may benefit from the experience of an attorney who can aid in analyzing the results of a vehicle crash reconstruction report or compile facts from the law enforcement's accident report. The attorney can use this evidence when seeking compensation from the negligent driver through a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of an injured victim.

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