Watch Those Traffic Lights: National Stop on Red Week!
It's National Stop on Red Week. The number of tickets for running traffic lights in Yakima has seen a huge increase. Our news partner KIMA Action News reports for the first eight months of 2011, 18 drivers were cited in the county and 21 over the year. Last year in the city, 157 tickets were given out between January and August. 243 tickets were given out this year - a 43 percent increase. 195 of those tickets were because of collisions. The Yakima Police Department says it’s a common sight, but it’s difficult to give tickets to those who run the lights.
“It's not uncommon to see that throughout the day. It is, however, more challenging to safely maneuver around traffic," said Officer Jim Moore of Yakima Police Department.
It's not just dangerous for others but also the violator.
"This is definitely something that causes collisions when it happens," said Officer Moore.
Yakima Police Department says 80 percent of the people who have ran red lights and had been given citations because they were involved in an accident - a frightening statistic that's making some think twice.
"Not good. I don't want to cause any accidents," said Neil.
"Scared to run a light, I guess a little less likely to. I'd probably be a little bit more cautious," said Tamara.
It's a big risk with little to no reward.
Yakima Police Department says it’s difficult for officers to decide to go after someone who has ran a light. The flow and pattern of traffic, the light cycle, and direction they need to travel are what dictate whether or not they can safely pursue the violator.