Red Light-Running High During Memorial Day Weekend

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Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Memorial Day weekend means time off from work, hanging out with friends and family, and running red lights.

The National Coalition for Safer Roads says that the incidence of motorists flying through red lights jumps 27 percent over the holiday weekend compared to typical weekends, based on information gathered from 142 areas in 18 states.

According to coalition president David Kelly, if the findings are spread out to all 50 states, it means there are 1.2 red-light violations every second of Memorial Day weekend — not exactly a reassuring figure if you plan on hitting the road over the next few days.

Kelly explains that the spike in drivers ignoring red lights probably has something to do with people wanting to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. The increase in traffic, which leads to more congestion, adds to impatience behind the wheel.

The study also shows that Fridays are when most violations happen, with over three in ten occurring between the hours of 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Getting a ticket is the least of motorists’ worries if they’re caught. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that during 2009, speeding through red lights resulted in 676 deaths and 130,000 injuries. Often, the fatalities didn’t involve the driver, but another driver or pedestrian who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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