Drivers Apparently View Red Lights As Suggestion Only

June 4, 2015 | Liam Mathews

A study by Hunter College released Wednesday found that approximately 1 in 10 drivers blew through red lights at the intersections the survey monitored, reports the New York Daily News. Of the 3,259 motorists observed, 283 ran red lights.

The study, carried out by Hunter’s sociology department, looked at 50 intersections throughout the city between April 2 and May 13. Researchers observed each intersection for an hour on two separate occasions. The most frequently ignored red light in the study is at Gates and Evergreen Avenues in Bushwick, where 28 drivers ran the light. At 50th and 7th in Times Square, 17 red lights were blown.

Each of the intersections observed are within two blocks of a subway station, so there are plenty of hittable pedestrians around at each one.

The Daily News does not make a distinction between drivers who ran a solid red light and drivers hurrying unsuccessfully to beat a yellow. But hurrying to beat a yellow light is one of the driving culture problems that the Vision Zero initiative will change. If drivers actually start viewing the yellow light for its intended purpose of “slow down” rather than “speed up,” Vision Zero would be kind of a success.