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Running Red Lights Wrecks Lives

In Colorado, a yellow light warns that the traffic signal is about to turn red, which requires motorists to stop. Instead, many drivers consider the yellow light an invitation to speed up to beat the light, rather than stop. Frequently, these drivers end up running the red light, endangering us all, themselves, and their passengers.

There are over 2,675 people killed each year by drivers running red lights, with another 2,300,000 people hurt by drivers running red lights, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

Most of us have at some time sped up, rather than stopping, when the green light turns yellow. This is dangerous for ourselves and others.

In Colorado, CRS 42-4-604 provides that a steady yellow light or yellow arrow signal warns that "the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter."

Colorado law also requires at 42-4-604(c) that: "Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection ..."

Colorado law prohibits entering the intersection on a red light, but permits entering the intersection on a yellow light, as long as it can be done before the light turns red.

The safest thing to do is stop whenever safely possible for the yellow light, to protect us all.

Pit Martin