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Stop on Red: Tampa Bay area officers join campaign reminding drivers of Red-Light Safety

As you’re getting out and about, law enforcement agencies join the campaign to remind drivers of the deadly consequences of not stopping at red lights.

TAMPA, Fla — This week, Aug. 1-7, is National Stop on Red week. It’s a safety campaign sponsored by the National Coalition for Safer Roads. 

The campaign is a reminder for drivers of the importance to stop at red lights and the deadly, preventable consequences not stopping can have.

The Tampa Police Department is one of the agencies spreading awareness. 

The department tweeted this week, saying, "Did you know, in 2020, Friday was the deadliest day for red light running! 445,382 people were cited for running red lights on Friday's, making it the deadliest day for road users at signaled intersections. Take your time and stop on red." 

Florida is one of the top 10 states in the country for deadly crashes caused by running red lights.

FDOT reports in 2020 there were 14,321 red-light running crashes in Florida. Those crashes took the lives of 97 people. 

“These injuries and losses were completely preventable," FDOT leaders say. “Everyone has a right to arrive at their destination safely."

Community advocates and leaders with the Sarasota Police Department came together this week at the intersection of South Tamiami and Hillview to raise awareness about red light safety. 

Advocates and law enforcement leaders emphasized that Running red light does not impact just one person but several people, many who lose loved ones or are maimed in the process. 

FDOT workers, safety advocates, and police officers will be at Sarasota intersections Friday, holding signs to keep the public alert.

The ‘Stop on red’ campaign happens regularly outside of the designated week to raise awareness because people are making bad decisions and running red lights year-round.

Melissa Wandall of the National Coalition for Safer Roads spoke at a media event Friday. Her husband died when someone ran a light, and her brother – who was the driver – is a survivor of the same crash. He has been dealing with the consequences for 18 years. Many victims can’t speak or get up to advocate because it’s too late for them, she said.

Take your time and stop on red. They say zero begins with you.

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