Sarasota launched a campaign Tuesday to try to get people to stop running red lights. It’s in conjunction with National Stop on Red Week, which runs through Friday. The Florida Highway Patrol and Sarasota, Venice, and North Port Police Departments joined the “I Stop on Red” campaign. Melissa Wandall was the keynote speaker. A red light runner killed her husband in 2003, just two weeks before their baby was born. She has since started the Mark Wandall Foundation to promote red light education.
“If my husband were here today my life would be so different. I was always looking for a cause, and that’s the unfortunate part about it I was involved in a lot of different charities but never knew that this would be the cause that I would be involved in, but I will not rest. This is my cause forever.”
Wandall says there are ways to stop tragedy like hers from happening to others.
The Florida Department of Transportation is now using “enforcement lights” or “white lights”. They operate on the same wire as red lights so they both shine simultaneously and are visible in any direction. This allows police to monitor all angles of an intersection for red light runners.
“Casualties, accidents are continuing to happen out there because people are not paying attention to what they’re doing. They’re blatently running red lights. There’s no curtosy on the highways. They’re basically using their vehicles as weapons and they don’t even realize it.”
Federal Highway Administration figures from 2000 show people running red lights caused about 92,000 crashes, 90,000 injuries and nearly 1,000 deaths nationwide.
Wednesday, 31 August 2005 01:00