Running red lights is Russian roulette | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Running red lights is Russian roulette

Our Opinion: Safety

Posted: March 19, 2012 - 8:00pm

Running red light is Russian roulette

Warmer than normal March temperatures is causing some to feel euphoric. Many are out driving our streets and the country back roads to be an eyewitness to an early spring in the lakes region. Some are out catching a glimpse of the increasing number of bald eagles returning to the area and setting up housekeeping in our tall red and white pines.

As we hit the roads in pursuit of a firsthand look at our countryside, let’s remember a few safety points. For example, it was reported that a driver ignored a red light on Sunday morning and caused a two-car pile up at the corner of 371 and College Drive. Someone’s hurried effort to get through that intersection caused a painful reminder to the driver of the other vehicle that running red lights is never a good idea. In fact, local firefighters were called in to assist in extricating at least one person from a vehicle involved in the crash.

How many times has one witnessed a car wheeling through an intersection on a left hand turn arrow only to discover that the arrow turns red even before the car enters the intersection. Fortunately, there is a few second delay before oncoming traffic is released to proceed.

If we would slow down just a bit, and not proceed into an intersection on a yellow light, accidents like the one last Sunday morning could and would be avoided. If we continue to hit the accelerator in an effort to squeeze through the intersection before the light turns red, there will be serious consequences that could cause serious injury to the offending driver or worse, loss of his or her life.

The problem of running red lights or yellow caution lights will only increase as summer residents and tourists invade the lakes region streets and highways. Having to wait for a light to cycle through to a green light is not the worst thing that could happen in a day. In fact, it beats being stopped by a law enforcement officer, being ticketed for running a red, or worse, finding out that one’s impatience caused serious injury or death to someone else.

Let’s use a bit of common sense and stop if we know that yellow isn’t going to give us enough time to make it safely through an intersection. It could save a life. That life could be one’s own.

Keith Hansen