Red light running (RLR) is a dangerous act. Approximately 22% of urban crashes at signalized intersections are caused nationwide by RLR. Nearly 1,036 deaths were caused nationwide by RLR in the year 2000. Indiana had no previous research conducted in this area; therefore, this research was aimed at estimating the RLR problem in Indiana. The other objectives of this research included: learning drivers’ opinions on the problem, studying the effectiveness of selected countermeasures, and studying the legal issues related to photo-enforcement. A crash statistics study, telephone survey, and extended monitoring of a selected intersection were the three major approaches chosen to estimate the magnitude of the problem. The crash statistics for the 1997-1999 period showed that 22% of signalized intersection crashes were caused in Indiana by RLR. RLR preceded 50% of fatal crashes at these intersections. The telephone survey showed that 67% of Indiana drivers felt that RLR was a problem in the state. Twelve percent of them claimed to have been involved in a RLR crash. The extended monitoring of the through movements at the study intersection also recorded a considerable violation rate. These results indicate that RLR may be considered a problem in Indiana. Traffic at a selected intersection in West Lafayette, Indiana, was videotaped and the video material was used to detect the red light violations. The expected number of drivers arriving at the start of the red signal has been proposed as a true measure of exposure to RLR. We call it an opportunity for RLR. This exposure was used to estimate the RLR rate. The statistical significance of the difference in the RLR rates between different periods was estimated using binomial distribution. Police enforcement was evaluated and found to reduce the violation rate by approximately 75% in the week immediately after the enforcement. A reduction of 37% was observed after another two weeks. The photo- enforcement reduced the violation rate by 62% during the week of enforcement and by 35% during the week immediately following. Young people violated red lights more frequently than other drivers. The legal issues that related to RLR and photo-enforcement were studied. The present state law in Indiana does not support the use of photo-enforcement.

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red light running, enforcement, safety, driver behavior, SPR-2484

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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