Huntington and Cabell County police are investing approximately $10,000 in the “Target Red” campaign. Police will look to crack down on red light runners at high volume intersections, including traffic lights where there have been car accident deaths.
For example, police plan to target 1st Street and 4th Avenue in Huntington County, West Virginia (WV), where red light runners caused 13 major car crashes in 2009, according to wsaz.com.
Over 1,000 car wrecks were attributed to “improper stopping” in Huntington. Nationwide, over 260,000 car accidents occur every year from red light runners, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
West Virginia law states:
§17C-3-4. Obedience to traffic-control devices; official signs to be in proper position, etc; penalty
(a) The driver of any vehicle and the operator of any streetcar shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device applicable thereto placed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer, subject to the exceptions granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this chapter.
(b) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars; upon a second conviction within one year thereafter, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars; and upon a third or subsequent conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars.
Despite recent efforts, WV received a ranking of “poor” from the IIHS for the use of red light cameras. The “Target Red” campaign doesn’t involve an increase in red light cameras, but the increase in police officers monitoring traffic violations could be helpful.