Which drivers are likely to run red lights?

Kentucky is one of several states in which motorcyclists are permitted to run red lights in certain limited circumstances. However, in most other situations, running a red light is both illegal and dangerous. In 2021, it resulted in around 143,000 injuries and more than 800 deaths. Over half of those deaths were people hit by those running the red lights.

Motorcyclists and red lights

Recognizing that some motorcycles are not heavy enough to trigger traffic light sensors, Kentucky allows these drivers to run a red light after they have waited for a certain amount of time. A driver might also pull out into an intersection while waiting to turn left, and the light might change while they are waiting. These drivers would not be considered red light runners, but others who go through these lights for various reasons are.

Profile of a red light runner

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, people who run red lights tend to be younger men with previous crashes on their records or convictions for alcohol-related offenses. They are less likely than other drivers to have a valid license and more likely to be under the influence of alcohol or driving above the speed limit.

Perception of danger

Interestingly, they might also be the same people who think that running a red light is very dangerous. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey in 2019 and found that even though over 80% of drivers think this is a dangerous activity, nearly one-third said that in the past 30 days, they had done so.

To reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident involving a red light, drivers should pay careful attention to their surroundings. This includes checking intersections when they pull out into them even when they have the right of way.


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