Drivers tell us red light runners are one of the most commonand frightening things they see on our roads. The City of Tucson wants to see if installing blue lightson red lights will stop drivers who run through red lights.
Intersections in Pima County offer a preview of something that could be to intersections in Tucson. The red lights have a blue light with them. Heres the idea: that helps fight red light runners because the blue light lets an officer know if the red light is red even if he cant see the light for himself.
The blue lights let an officer watch an intersection from a safe location, and still see if a driver ran the red. Pima Countys says it has been using the system for about 20 years. Whats new is the City of Tucson planning to set the lights inside city limits.
Based on a bad history of wrecks, Grant and Craycroft is first in line for Tucsons blue lights.
Randy Cates fixes cars at Grant Road Chevron. That gives him a good view of bad driving at Grant and Craycroft.
KGUN reporter Craig Smith asked: Have you seen a fatality happen out here?
Randy Cates: Yes sir.
Craig: What’s that experience like?
Randy: Frightening, at best. It’d be a busy intersection. And then getting shut down for hours at a time and its eerily quiet.
Jennie Martinez hopes the blue lights do help. Shes felt the impact of red light running-and we do mean impact.
I’ve been hit before turning on a green. It was head on and it wasnt very pretty. But I’ve seen that happen a lot of times. I’ve witnessed several accidents. Especially here, there’s always accidents, right here.
Let’s be clear on what the blue lights are not. They are not cameras. Voters forced the city to take the robocams down. The blue lights simply help police tell if a light is red, even if the officer is at an angle that prevents seeing the red light directly.
Driver Steve Riley says, I think it’s a great idea because there’s some crazy people in this town. They just drive crazyrun red lights on a regular basis. You got to look each way. And then look again before you take off.
The city says it costs less than five hundred dollars to buy and install a blue light. There will be a two month trial once the blue lights installed at Grant and Craycroft. The city has nine other blue lights on hand. If the trial goes well it will decide where those other lights will go.