Originally created 02/21/01

Red light violations

In recent months police and sheriffs' officers around the Central Savannah River Area have been running seat-belt checks to make sure drivers and passengers are properly buckled up. It saves lives, law officers say.

Well and good, but enforcing traffic light laws also saves lives and lately that seems to be more necessary than seat belt enforcement.

On Monday a 14-year-old bicyclist was critically injured at an Aiken Whiskey Road intersection when he was hit by a driver who, police charge, ran a red light.

Sadly (and dangerously), running red lights is becoming an all-too-frequent occurrence, not only in Aiken but throughout the Central Savannah River Area.

We've been hearing complaints from more and more people - and even seen some incidences ourselves - of cars zipping through red lights.

Some of them, we're sorry to note, are police vehicles without sirens or lights on. We urge alert drivers to note tag numbers and report them to their chief.

We can't be sure if red light violations are at epidemic levels, but there's enough anecdotal evidence to indicate they're happening often enough to suggest a regionwide crackdown is in order.

Everyone will misjudge a light occasionally; that's a human mistake - but selfish drivers will make a habit of it if they can get away with it. Never mind the danger to themselves or others.

When law-enforcement is lax, lawbreakers take advantage. That's as true about traffic laws as any other law.

Squad cars need to start hanging around intersections. Let the word get out that red-light runners are being nailed and such violations will recede - and so will crashes, deaths and injuries.


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