Police partner up to stop red-light runners

New month-long campaign aims to prevent crashes, catch violators

Police from all law-enforcement agencies in Santa Clara County are joining forces this week to target red-light runners throughout the county.

The partnership between the 14 local agencies -- sponsored by the Traffic Safety Community Network -- is the county's response to a continuing trend of collisions caused by red-light runners, Palo Alto police said in a news release. Between 2003 and 2006, drivers who ran red lights caused 4,485 collisions in the county. These incidents involved 4,231 injuries and 13 deaths, police said.

The new campaign will last from April 20 to May 17. Police will add extra patrols to target red-light violators during this period. The fine for running a red light is a minimum of $340.

Palo Alto Interim Police Chief Dennis Burns said in a news release that the risk made to run a red light is not worth the cost, particularly when it comes to risking injury or death.

"Slow for yellow, and stop for red," he said.

Gennady Sheyner


Like this comment
Posted by Jim McCaffrey
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Great idea; a perfect place to start is the intersection of Emerson and University. I'm surprised no body has been killed there yet.

Like this comment
Posted by Go Big Brother
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 20, 2009 at 3:28 pm

They should just set up red light cameras around town. Drivers are running the red light on Embarcadero/Greer Road quite often and on Oregon Expressway intersections. Perhaps it is the people passing through Palo Alto, after leaving 101 to get to work or to a neighboring town.

Like this comment
Posted by right on red
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm

A lot red light runners are locals who turn right at red lights without stopping first. Sometimes they will glance to their left to see if a car is coming. They rarely look right to see if there is a pedestrian in the crosswalk. I agree that the police really need to crack down before there are a lot more fatalities.

Like this comment
Posted by Red is for Revenue
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Consistent studies have shown that the main reason red lights are run are 1) the yellow is too short or 2) the cycle is so long that drivers are motivated to avoid the wait. In fact, illegally short yellows often go with red light cameras.

Smarten up people. This is a generally silly use of police time that could be better addressed by appropriate light cycling and timing.

"Red Light Runners" - the newest criminal to crowd our prisons with, or just collect $340 for. Police and government are now in the revenue business.

While we're at it we should ticket people for cell phone usage even though distractions are the primary cause of accidents. Oh we do. I guess it's hard to enforce "distractions".

Like this comment
Posted by Go Big Brother
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm

I wonder where they are monitoring because I have seen a lot of red-light running today on Oregon Ex.

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm

San Francisco has both dummy and real red-light cameras. The city rotates the real cameras through the intersections. The effect is to multiply the effectiveness of the red-light cameras in deterring this violation. It's a lot cheaper than putting a special police detail on red-light violations.

Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I cannot believe that some people are defending the red light runners. Running red lights kills people. That should be good enough reason not to do it. Palo Alto is a mostly residential town and there are lots of pedestrians in the crosswalks. Those kids walking to and from school are the ones you are killing.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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