I-Team: Drivers running red lights are killing more people than ever


CHICOPEE, Mass (WWLP) – Two people die every day due to a driver blowing through a red light.

Running a red light is among the most common traffic violations. According to new data from AAA, 7,869 people have died in red light crashes in the last decade. Forth-three were in Massachusetts. One in three drivers admitted to running a red light.

“I think we have all have run a red light at some point in our lives, whether intentionally or unintentionally,” said Keith Peters of Springfield.

In Massachusetts, we can legally “turn right on red” after coming to a complete stop, but the I-Team found out many drivers fail to do this correctly.

You can see drivers breaking the law all the time here in Longmeadow at the Converse Street-Longmeadow Street intersection. Instead of coming to a complete stop, drivers often execute a “rolling stop” before turning right on red. This is illegal and police can ticket you for this.

Holyoke Police officers have issued more than 240 red light and stop sign citations so far this year. It’s an officers’ discretion whether you get a ticket or a warning. Sometimes, they just don’t have the time.

“We are out there. We’re watching for it. Unfortunately, sometimes we are going to other places and we can’t stop when we see it, said Officer Goulding.

You can be fined up to $150 dollars for running a red light. And the added points will likely raise your auto insurance premium.

“Oh there are multiple people who get stopped for running red lights,” said Holyoke Police Officer, Matthew Goulding. “I mean people do it in front of marked cruisers.”

Communities in 23 states have installed red light cameras to deter red light violations. But Massachusetts prohibits them. MassDOT told the I-Team red light cameras are not a feasible option for traffic enforcement.

Running red lights is a significant problem in Northampton. Last year alone, Northampton Police issued 234 red light or stop sign citations. Running a red light can result in a $150 fine and the added points can raise your auto insurance premium.

If an accident is involved and you’re found at fault, a stop sign or red light violation could also lead to a reckless or negligent operation conviction.

“It’s anywhere. It’s all over the place you can go into any town or city and you’ll see it happen at multiple intersections. I mean people do it in front of marked cruisers.”

Officer Matthew Goulding, Holyoke Police Department

The 22News I-Team staked out several intersections where our viewers say drivers constantly run red lights or stop signs, and turn right on red even when clearly posted not to.

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