Red light runners

I give up. Our topics often derail and I can’t find the one I’m looking for. It was recent concerning red light runners being ignored by police. I posted an example from 30+ years ago. It happened again yesterday! I was number one vehicle in the right lane of a 3 lane one way Northbound stopped at a red light at a Westbound 3 lane one way. A city police cruiser was number one in the left lane. Our light turned green and 2 vehicles blatantly ran the red light. The law enforcement officer was in a perfect position to turn left on a green light and cite the number 2 red light runner. They chose to proceed straight ahead at the speed limit! I don’t understand. Running red lights and stop signs is very dangerous.

Maybe he had “target fixation” on the Dunkin’ Donuts just ahead. :yum:


My best guess as to why the local police overlook some dangerous, blatant offenses while being obsessed with citing petty harmless offenses is our chief’s desire to keep the city council members happy. When a council member has a complaint from an important constituent the police in the councilman’s ward will be particularly attentive to that constituent’s issue. Loud music has been an ongoing complaint in several wards and while there is an ordnance re that issue it is difficult to enforce but if an officer is unhappy with the sound coming from a car regardless of the db he can and often will find an excuse to pull the car over and make a great show of blue lights while citing some infraction, often a failed tag light. It seems the officers often play a game pretending to be GySgt Hartman.

Looks like in my state, running a red light will get you a $135 fine. Speeding at 20 over starts at $225. I’m gonna guess that’s why cops nab people for 20 over a lot more than they get them for running red lights. It’s all about the profit margin.

Running red lights or stop-signs are ignored here too. Only time police will do anything is if there’s an accident.

I occasionally see a redlight runner get cited where I am. I suspect cops often have things going on in their cruisers that drivers around them are unaware of. The computers they have in their cars now may have data coming and going that causes them to miss infractions that don’t manifest as accidents. Just like a kid texting, cops too are subject to distraction, the difference being that cops are trained and tested and their doing for a reason beyond just gossiping.

I suspect there is more than one reason for this happening. Reduced funding resulting in less officers. Policies could have lowered the priority of traffic enforcement. Traffic stops becoming more dangerous nationwide although not a problem here. Rank has it’s privileges. Senior officers considering traffic enforcement a “rookie” job.



Over near where my son lives there were quite a few collisions (bad ones) at one particular intersection. An up-scale condo complex had an entrance/exit road that met the highway at a T-intersection controlled by a traffic light. The problem was caused by people running red lights.

Authorities took a look at what could be done. It was suggested by several people that the yellow lights didn’t stay on long enough to give adequate time for drivers to stop when they changed to red.

However when deciding to increase the time the yellow lights stayed on they found out they were already on for the maximum legal amount of time (Yes, there was a legal regulation).

So, what they did was make it so that when stopped traffic was waiting for a green light to go, their light stayed red for a moment AFTER the perpendicular traffic’s light had turned red. Basically, everybody had a red light for a moment.

I hope my explanation makes sense.

Not enough time has elapsed to tell yet if this change has saved injuries and lives. Only time will tell, but I give them credit for taking action.

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I have a theory that might be completely wrong. I suspect that while the officer is facing a green light he cannot testify that the persons light was actually red. Signals do malfunction. Even if he follows the person he might not have a reason to stop the driver or the officer might have a place he needs to be.

This is common in Ohio.

Do you suppose it helps reduce collisions or since most people know it happens do they take more chances running the red lights?

I’d have to answer “yes.”

I saw a guy get stopped for running a red light. The police were stationed on the cross road just waiting. I think they respond to public complaints for certain intersections. I was stopped about 10:30 one night for not making a complete stop at a stop sign. Pitch dark, no other traffic, and I did stop but I guess the wheels kept moving a little. Police were hiding in a parking area waiting. He said they had gotten complaints on that stop sign and let me go. On the other hand, we covered that in driver training to always check first when the light turns green and don’t assume everyone stops for stop signs and lights.

For many years my route to work took me to a dog leg intersection that I approached from a little used access road and the light remained red for traffic approaching on that road until a motion sensor recognized a vehicle and tripped the light green in the next sequence. For some reason the sensor often failed to trip and after 2 light change sequences I would run the light and go on my way and at 6:00am there was little traffic to be concerned with. I mentioned the problem to a city police officer one day and he strongly advised me to take another route unless I wanted a ticket because regardless whether the light was faulty or not I would be ticketed. He didn’t seem at all concerned about reporting the light which still malfunctions at times but I rarely take that route. The lack of concern for the faulty signal and the officer’s attitude are indicative of the city’s law enforcement.

LOL!, LOL!, LOL!. More than 10 characters.

I’ll agree that in some places, part of the problem is that the fine for running a red light isn’t worth the officers time. But often there is another consideration here what I will call the railroad crossing syndrome. The RR crossing syndrome is when a RR crossing doesn’t get lights or control arms until someone is killed at the crossing.

You may see red light runners on a regular basis at an intersection, but if there hasn’t been an accident at that intersection in some time, then everyone ignores it. That of course is of little comfort to the loved ones when someone is killed or seriously injured.

Where the fines don’t justify an officers time to pull someone over and write the ticket, red light cameras are often cost effective.

You make perfect common sense. My state’s law requires stopping for a common red, yellow green signal yellow light if safely possible. When red light cameras were installed the threshold was entering the intersection on a yellow light was no ticket. The private contractors installing and owning the cameras got a piece of the fines and convinced the cities (who received the rest of the booty) to allow reducing duration of the yellow light to as low as 1 second. The state had to enforce the existing minimum 3 second yellow light.

Quite possible with a good lawyer who’s fees would far exceed the fine.

Yeah I’ve found that late at night at one intersection waiting to make a left turn or go straight. The light just wouldn’t trip. So more than once I had to cross lanes and make a legal right turn on red and then turn around again to approach the intersection from the other way. I suppose they could get me for crossing several lanes to make the right turn but that still would be better than going through a red light even though not another soul around. I think in the end, the Police just need to use some common sense when stopping people.