AAA: Red light running deaths on the rise in Kentucky

Published: Aug. 29, 2019 at 5:09 PM EDT
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AAA says red light deaths are at a 10-year high, and Kentucky drivers are among the biggest offenders.

Between 2012 and 2017, red light deaths increased by 30 percent nationally. There is an average of two deaths per day nationwide. Kentucky ranks seventh in the highest rate of fatalities with 3.4 deaths per 1 million population. Kentucky also has higher rates than most of its neighboring states.

Lori Weaver Hawkins with AAA Blue Grass said drivers often say people race against the light in order to save time on their commutes.

"I can't tell you if [Lexington] does have longer stoplight waits than other cities, but it feeds into a mindset of I want to beat that light," Hawkins said.

AAA encourages defensive driving to limit the number of crashes.

"Pedestrians and bicyclists are also in danger. Just because you get the walk light doesn't mean you should proceed on into the crosswalk," Hawkins said.

Nearly half of those killed in crashes caused by running red lights were passengers or people in other vehicles. More than five percent were pedestrians or cyclists.