Target Red Initiative
Each August, law enforcement officers across West Virginia conduct the “Target Red” campaign designed to reduce crashes caused by drivers who disobey traffic signals and stop signs. They use this opportunity to remind the public of the need to come to a complete stop at both traffic signals and stop signs.
Just about everyone has experienced the situation where they begin to drive through a green signal when suddenly, out of nowhere, a driver speeds through the red light because they were in a hurry, not paying attention, or were too distracted with their cell phone preventing them from driving safely.
In 2008 in Beckley, WV a lady was struck by a car running a red light. Interestingly enough, she was the second vehicle through the green light when she was struck. The woman actually died at the scene, but was revived and ended up surviving the crash. Members of her church and the community blanketed the area with warnings on message boards all over the city, giving birth to the “Target Red” campaign.
Since then, the enforcement campaign continued to spread throughout the rest of West Virginia. Driving running red lights is certainly one of the most common complaints that officers and traffic safety officials hear every day.
Red light running is a leading cause of serious crashes. In 2014, there were 165,000 injuries, 800 fatalities and $14 Financial Billion burden to the public by increased costs in lost workplace and household productivity, legal costs, property damage, present and future medical expenses, and societal expenses such as congestion costs, delays, fuel usage and environmental impacts. (Source: USDOT/NHTSA – “Economic/Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes – Revised 2015)”