Putting a Stop to Running Red Lights

By: Andrew Colegrove, Randy Yohe Email
By: Andrew Colegrove, Randy Yohe Email

UPDATE: Wednesday, 4/28 10pm
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) –A couple weeks ago we told you about a program that’s cracking down on red light-runners in West Virginia.

Over the past two weeks Huntington and Cabell County spent 10 thousand dollars coming out in force to catch offenders.

"We're pleased with the results,” Cabell County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy D.C. Ferguson said. “We still have two days left."

A Target Red Campaign that's included billboards has cost taxpayers another 37 thousand dollars.

"I think it's a good idea,” David Hilling said. “I get almost picked off once or twice a week by somebody running a red light walking downtown."

Other folks say it shouldn't be necessary to use so much money to raise awareness for what seems like common sense.

"I kind of think it's a waste of money,” Joy Kline said. “I saw a billboard saying ‘Please Stop at Red Lights.’ That's kind of the law. You're supposed to stop at red lights."

"It's a costly reminder monetarily, but for us we feel the safety part outweighs that cost," Ferguson said.

Last year in Huntington more than a thousand car crashes started with improper stopping.
Since the crackdown started, Ferguson says deputies have handed out about 80 citations for the offense.

Some people say the money could be put to better use.

"I replaced shocks on my car twice in the past year from driving on the streets in Huntington,” Kline said. “I think the money could at least go to pave some street in Huntington, cover some potholes."

The crackdown ends in a couple days, but officials hope drivers have been persuaded to stop the dangerous trend.

Original Story 4/16
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- What causes more car crash injuries than anything else? What's tripling the death rate for fatal car accidents? And what's now the target of a sweeping police crackdown?

It's something just about every motorist has done at one time or another -- run a red light.

In West Virginia, bunches of "Target Red" billboards, key chains, refrigerator magnets and similar items are costing state taxpayers $37,000. During the next two weeks, Huntington and Cabell County are spending another $10,000 in Target Red enforcement -- coming out in force to catch and fine red light runners.

But knowing isn't doing. In Huntington, for example, more than 1,000 car crashes last year started with improper stopping.

For the next two weeks, Huntington Police will stakeout the most notorious intersections. Leading the list is lst Street and 4th Avenue, where red light running caused 13 serious crashes last year.

"They'll check for violations, stop people and take action," Huntington Police Lt. Mike Albers said.

Cabell County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy D.C. Ferguson said if you can safely stop when a light turns yellow, you should do so.

In Huntington, the fine for running a red light is $125, and it's $164.50 elsewhere in Cabell County, including court costs.

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