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From Red Lights to Court Fights: Protecting Victims of Red Light Running in Arizona

By Karnas Law Firm |

Running red lights is at an all-time high in Arizona; a concerning development considering the number of serious accidents associated with this type of violation. In 2022, 60 people lost their lives on Arizona roads as a result of drivers failing to obey traffic signals and many more suffered serious long-term injuries. For Arizona road users, this is a warning. And for those who’ve been injured or lost a family member, it’s a call to action – violators must be held accountable. 

Source: AZDOT Motor Vehicle Crash Facts

Running Red Is a Personal Injury Risk

The failure to obey traffic signals is one of the most lethal traffic violations on Arizona roads, behind speeding and ignoring a right of way. Why? Because running red contributes disproportionately to serious injuries and deaths, according to both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and AAA. When a driver runs a red light, it often results in a side-impact or T-bone collision. In these accidents, the not-at-fault vehicle is hit on its side where it’s least protected. It’s also common for the not-at-fault vehicle to roll over, and for occupants to be thrown out. Serious injuries, like concussions, whiplash, neck damage, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries are common. 

For pedestrians and cyclists, running red also poses a great personal injury risk. Intersections with traffic signals are typically places with high concentrations of pedestrians and cyclists. The sudden change in speed and direction of vehicles running red lights makes it hard for these vulnerable road users to preempt an impending accident.

What’s Being Done to Protect You?

Arizona has traditionally taken a proactive stance against red light violations. The Arizona Department of Transport was early to trial and adopt red light cameras at signaled intersections, installing these devices widely in and around Phoenix, Tucson and other urban centers. It was also early to adopt driver re-education, making Traffic Survival School courses compulsory for red light violators. Arizona’s triple-headed approach to tackling red light running–of education, engineering, and enforcement–has had a positive effect, even in recent years. During 2016-2020 red light violations fell by almost 14%, despite a rise in population of almost 7%. 

Sadly, red light running accidents are now on the rise. Why? More heavily trafficked roads and driver distraction play a part, as do higher speeds, reckless driving and a lack of awareness of the risks involved. But Arizona may also be falling behind in its once proactive approach to red light running. The red light cameras, once present in 19 cities throughout Arizona, are now falling out of favor. Whether this plays a role in the recent rise in red light offenses is open to debate, but the bottom line is that Arizona’s signaled intersections are fast becoming more dangerous places. 

If you or a family member have been victim to the recent spate of red light running offenses, know that help is available. 

We Will Defend You

At Karnas Law Firm, we will take your fight. Our personal injury attorneys have over 40 years of experience and have won over $50 million in compensation for clients. We know Arizona traffic law and we are committed to ensuring your rights to compensation are fully realized. With offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma we serve clients throughout Arizona. For a free consultation with our team, call 520-571-9700 or schedule a free consultation online.