BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland now ranks number 18 in the number of deaths from drivers running red lights, new data from the AAA Foundation shows.
The number of people killed by drivers running red lights has hit a ten-year high nationwide.
“There are people flying around this city on their phones not paying attention to anything,” one driver said.
“Unfortunately, what we’re seeing with red light running is similar to what we’re seeing with distracted driving. People are in a rush, people are focusing on themselves and not really paying attention,” said Ragina Ali with AAA Mid-Atlantic.
There has been a 28 percent increase nationwide since 2012. In 2017 alone, 939 people were killed in red-light running deaths.
“Here in Maryland particularly, more than half of those that are killed in red light crashes are not the person who’s actually running the red right but a passenger in their vehicle or someone in another vehicle,” Ali said.
According to the AAA Foundation, 147 died in red light crashes in Maryland from 2008 to 2017. Sixty-one percent of the victims were passengers in the runners car or people in other vehicles, while one-third were the drivers who ran the lights.
While 85 percent of drivers think running red lights is dangerous, 30 percent admitted to doing it.
“We continue to see this ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality with drivers and we really have to stop,” Ali said.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found red light crashes can make a big difference in stopping the fatal crashes, AAA said. The cameras helped cut down the number of fatal crashes caused by red-light runners by 21 percent and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 14 percent.