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Traffic Talk: Dangers of running red lights — Part II

Don Gammill: Red light runners leave some drivers seeing red
by Don Gammill Published: February 27, 2012

“And another thing ...”

The mailbox and voice mail had several messages last week for those who run red lights.

You learn quickly when a topic is one that really matters. A high number of responses, their overall tone and tenor and some pretty strong recommendations told me we weren't quite through with this conversation.

To refresh your memory, a recent column focused on the danger of running a red light and the tragedy that occurred years ago in my hometown when someone did so.

The communication traffic was heavy, to say the least. Some comments can be repeated; some were, well, not quite so kind. Here are those from three readers:

“The problem is,” the older gentleman said loudly into the phone, “is that people don't understand that you're supposed to stop before you turn on red. They just run right on through. Never stop. Sometimes don't even slow down. Those people ought to have to pay a big fine and learn the law. It's just plain dangerous.”

He took it into another area from where I had gone in the column. Where I was focused on running a red in general, he made it specific. Right on red definitely is a problem when the turning vehicle does not stop first. The law says the turn can be made only when the vehicle comes to a full stop, then proceeds when it is safe.

Red light means stop. Completely.

A second reader wrote: “ ... I know the public as a whole are against cameras in the intersections, but the lack of responsibility shown by many drivers as they speed through red lights calls for action. Ultrahigh fines for speeding and running red lights would be a start. Driving without a license or insurance coverage should lead to jail time. We need to realize driving is not a right but a serious privilege.”

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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