WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department took to Twitter to encourage drivers to fully stop at red lights as part of this year’s “Stop on Red” campaign.
The campaign is part of a national effort to improve road safety at intersections across the country.
“This campaign is to raise awareness to the public that serious crashes, and fatal injury car crashes happen because of running red lights,” says Cpl. Adam Schwartzel with the Wilmington PD Traffic Unit. "Much like the “Click-it or Ticket” campaign, it’s year round to put the message out there but this week is really focusing on it. "
According to the Twitter post, one in three Americans know someone who has either been killed or injured in a red light related crash.
“Our major intersections are always the worst,” says Cpl. Schwartzel. “Market Street and College Road., College and Eastwood, Eastwood and Military, your major intersections where you have higher speeds. You have people going 50 in a 45 and all of a sudden the light turns yellow and they don’t think they have enough time to stop and they accelerate through.”
Officials say crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.
The campaign comes less than a week after a fatal crash at a red light on U.S. 17 near Sunset Beach, and after police searched for a hit and run suspect in a separate crash at an intersection in Wilmington.
“When the light turns yellow, start slowing down,” says Cpl. Schwartzel. “Be prepared for it to turn red. If you’re close enough to get through safely you can proceed through the intersection, but if there is any doubt if you’ll make it, go ahead and come to a stop.”