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Journal Article


Porter BE, Berry TD. Accid. Anal. Prev. 2001; 33(6): 735-741.


Department of Psychology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0267, USA.


(Copyright © 2001, Elsevier Publishing)






A United States probability sample of 880 licensed drivers participated in a telephone survey of red light running perceptions and behaviors. Despite most drivers believing red light running was problematic and dangerous, approximately one in five respondents reported running one or more red lights when entering the last ten signalized intersections. Among several demographic and attitude variables, only age group predicted recent red light running. Specifically, younger respondents were more likely to be violators. Drivers also reported being more likely to run red lights when alone, and were typically in a hurry when speeding up to be beat red lights. Contrary to expectations, frustration was not as important for predicting red light running as it was for other driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating (close following), weaving, and gesturing angrily at others. Additionally, drivers perceived and received few consequences for running red lights. Less than 6% had received a traffic ticket for red light running and most believed that police would catch less than 20% of violators. Slightly more than one in ten had been involved in a red light running crash. Respondents most commonly suggested legal initiatives to reduce red light running. Accordingly, we recommend traffic safety experts pursue interventions that apply immediate and consistent negative consequences to violators to change the public's red light running perceptions and behavior.


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