A new study commissioned by the National Coalition for Safer Roads and FocusDriven has found that roughly 12 percent of red light violations are caused by distracted driving. The research looked at 118 intersections in 19 communities over a three-month time span. After reviewing stoplight camera images from those intersections, researchers found that approximately 12 percent could be attributed to distracted driving. Extrapolating that evidence to the US at large, the two safety organizations claim distracted driving could be responsible for as many as 7.3 million red light infractions per year.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has said drivers running red lights is the leading cause of accidents in urban settings. Combine that with the fact that the National Safety Council has singled out cell phone use as a factor in 21 percent of all crashes and it's easy to see reason for concern. You can read the full press release below for more information.
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New Findings Estimate 7.3 Million Red-Light Violations Nationwide Involved Distracted Driving in 2012

National Coalition for Safer Roads and FocusDriven Launch Joint Campaign to Raise Awareness on Distracted Driving and Intersection Safety

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) and FocusDriven are joining forces to release a new analysis examining the impact of distracted driving on red-light running. With the release of the findings, the two traffic safety organizations are launching a new multimedia campaign effort, Stop Distraction on Red , to raise awareness about distracted driving and intersection safety. As school lets out for summer and millions of cars hit the road for family vacation, it is a timely reminder to put the phones away while driving.

A sample of 118 red-light safety camera intersections in 19 communities was looked at across a three-month period, finding that 12 percent of red-light violations during that time period were caused by distracted driving. From the sample findings it is estimated that 7,336,696 intersection violations across the United States were attributed to distracted driving in 2012.

Distracted driving is a pervasive threat on our roadways, particularly when it comes to cell phone use while driving. According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use is a factor in 21 percent of crashes, and drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash. The new analysis finds that there is a close connection between distracted driving and red-light running, which is the leading cause of urban crashes according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The analysis also looks at the effect of distracted driving legislation on intersection violations by comparing the communities in the sample with strict cell phone bans in place with communities who have more lenient or no laws against cell phone use while driving. Less than 10 percent of red-light violations involved distracted driving in communities that have strict laws against cell phone use – compared to more than 16 percent in communities that do not. This finding suggests that strict cell phone bans reduce the risk of distracted driving by nearly 7 percent.

Highlights of the analysis include:

Distracted Driving's Impact on Red-Light Running
Projected number of distracted driving instances that led to red-light running for all 50 states and nationwide
Impact of Distracted Driving Legislation
Comparison of communities that have strict cell phone bans to those that have more lenient or no laws against cell phone use
In addition to release of the new analysis, the joint multimedia campaign effort includes an infographic, video elements and opportunity for partner collaborations. The campaign effort is led by NCSR President Melissa Wandall and FocusDriven Board Member and Survivor Advocate Jacy Good – two spokespeople who have been personally impacted by the dangers of red-light running and distracted driving. Wandall lost her husband in a red-light running collision when she was nine months pregnant with their daughter. Good lost her parents in a red-light running collision caused by a cell phone-distracted driver on the day of her college graduation. Good, who was also in the vehicle, has suffered long-term injuries.

For more information on the campaign and a copy of the full analysis, please visit www.StopDistractionOnRed.org.

About the National Coalition for Safer Roads
The National Coalition for Safer Roads helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior. NCSR brings together policymakers, community leaders and concerned citizens in support of red-light safety cameras, advocating for their use in cities and communities across the country. The National Coalition for Safer Roads is a 501 (c)(6) industry trade association. To learn more, please visit www.NCSRsafety.org , follow @SaferRoadsUSA on Twitter and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SaferRoadsUSA

About FocusDriven
Advocates for Cell-Free Driving is a nonprofit advocacy organization for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using cell phones. FocusDriven supports victims of cell phone distracted driving and families of victims. Its goal is to increase public awareness on the dangers of cell phone distracted driving by putting a human face on the disastrous impact of the behavior, in order to promote corresponding public policies, programs and personal responsibility. For more information visit www.focusdriven.org , follow @FocusDrivenOrg on Twitter and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/focusdriven .

SOURCE National Coalition for Safer Roads


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why can't drivers calm down and behave during summer time I never understood this. Just yesterday I saw a overturned Acura TL that looked like it somehow trying to avoid rear ending another car although it had some damage to the rea corner also. Speeding, distracted who knows. Nobody would even let us get into the left lane to go around until a officer there finally forced left lane to stop and let us merge into the left lane. I despise summer time driving, worst of worst inconsiderate drivers are all over the place.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        Just saw a dumb woman hammering her aged mini-van in a driving rain, zig-zagging, speeding and tail gating with her kids onboard. I've noticed in Jersey, NYC, eastern Pa people start their cars and then FLOOR IT regardless of traffic conditions, pedestrians, etc. Truly I think most folks in this area need detuned Smart cars.
      DC Mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did they filter out the data from red light cameras to not count the ones on intersections with rigged shortened yellow lights? ...Or filter out the data from ones where they were "reviewed" and "confirmed" by deceased or non-existent police officers? ..Or not count the unchallenge-able red light cameras that were just flat out incorrect? F traffic cameras and whatever bogus info they collect.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DC Mike
        Regardless of whether said person should have gotten ticketed by the camera, they were still doing something distracting while driving. Doesn't matter if it's while they're going through an intersection or not.
      tonycd
      • 1 Year Ago
      it should be noted that the "National Coalition for Safer Roads" has actually been documented to be a PR front group for American Traffic Solutions, one of the leading purveyors of red light cameras. So take this vital safety news with a ton of salt.
      Big Squid
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just blew through a red light half an hour ago. The top of my windshield is tinted blue. I was wearing polarized sunglasses. The red light through the blue tint and the polarized lenses looked like it was OFF.
        johnnythemoney
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Big Squid
        And that's simply your fault.
        02BMW530
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Big Squid
        Good idea to just go straight through it if you thought it wasn't working....idiot
        tylermars.design
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Big Squid
        yeaaaaaaaaaa, you probably shouldn't be driving............
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Big Squid
        Don't tint your windshield blue and learn that a malfunctioning traffic light means treat it as a stop sign. Easy solution. Or just give up your license because you obviously can't comprehend basic traffic law.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      They need to develop a cell phone block when the vehicle is moving. Problem solved,
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yes, because starting at your phone texting is the same as listening to music.
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
      mylexicon
      • 1 Year Ago
      The other 88% are caused by malfunctioning equipment and crooked regulators.
      A2
      • 1 Year Ago
      The fix is simple . Make cell phone use while underway Illegal. RF detect a rolling cell phone signal. Light a lamp on rear of car. Cop writes big ticket.. Cell phone user soon catches on It's too expensive to talk and drive..A2
        DC Mike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @A2
        Step 1: Disconnect light Step 2: Use cellphone casually while driving just like the police in my locality do while on duty.
          John
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DC Mike
          Police must use private cell phones to communicate certain information due to privacy laws that prevent them from communicating this information over open air.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Stephen Donaldson
      • 1 Year Ago
      NCSR is a ATS FRONT GROUP! (THE "Coaltion" is RUN BY A RLC VENDOR!) http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3585.asp Documents incorporating NCSR Inc as a nonprofit entity in the state of Missouri confirm that NCSR is anything but the independent campaign of "victims, parents, medical professionals and first responders" as the group's publicity material suggests. NCSR's board of directors instead consists of three individuals: James D. Tuton, ATS president; George J. Hittner, ATS General Counsel; and Charles Territo, ATS spokesman. While NCSR's website does mention that it is "supported by American Traffic Solutions," it fails to disclose the complete control ATS has over the entity's operations. Matt Hay, former city councilman for the city of Arnold, Missouri and creator of the WrongOnRed website, suggests NCSR is, in effect, misusing public funds. www.banthecams.org
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