Posted: Jul 29, 2010 4:58 PM by Monica Quintero
Updated: Jul 29, 2010 9:43 PM
Santa Maria police say it's a big problem, drivers running red lights. It's dangerous and can even turn deadly. To give you a perspective, from July 1st of 2009 through July 1st of this year police have written around 275 red light violations.
A car crash in Santa Maria sent two people to the hospital back in May. A head-on collision sent another man to the hospital in April and police say drivers running a red light were to blame for both accidents. Lieutenant Rico Flores, Santa Maria police, said, "It is a very serious violation and it can be often times deadly."
We found out firsthand it doesn't take police long to find people breaking the law. Lt. Flores said, "These two vehicles they're pulling over, clearly ran the red light." Hank Rickett, Santa Maria resident, said, "I definitely should have stopped. I was trying to make the yellow and I didn't do it."
This year alone in Santa Maria, there have been around two dozens accidents and at least 13 injuries because of drivers running red lights. Lt. Flores said, "It is very much common sense. Red means stop, green means go."
So to educate the public, the City of Santa Maria has proclaimed the first week of August "Stop on Red Week." City officials say since the program started in other communities, it has decreased that problem by 15-percent. "The cost for a red light violation is $530," said Lt. Flores. Rickett said, "That's a lot of money and you can save that money just by stopping."
It's the first time the city has taken part in this national program which will start August 1st and last through August 7th. The theme this year, a "Campaign to Save Lives." Santa Maria police say there's also a big problem with people running stop signs. Between July 1st of last year and this year, police have written more than 550 stop sign violations.
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