Even more red light runners targeted in Henrico - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

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Even more red light runners targeted in Henrico

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Red light runners apparently aren't getting the message.

In the past 24 hours, Henrico Police have camped out at three more intersections, looking for people who run red lights. Officers patrolled the intersections of Gaskins/Broad, Parham/Broad, and Parham/Staples Mill. In just a few hours of work, they ticketed 13 drivers for running a red light, and also wrote tickets for 25 other violations.

To see our earlier reports, including a list of Henrico's 30 worst intersections for crashes, scroll down.

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An effort to crack down on drivers who cause accidents at one of Henrico's busiest intersections leads to 50 charges against various drivers.

The "red light special" involved a group of police officers looking for red light runners at the intersection of W. Broad Street and Pump/Pouncey Tract Roads in Short Pump. Officers worked the area from 3:30-6:00pm.

Included in the 50 tickets issued were 18 for running a red light, 11 for not wearing a seat belt, 7 for expired/no state inspection, 6 for failing to obey road signs, and 1 felony DUI.

The special enforcement effort will continue Thursday and Friday at W. Broad Street/Parham Road, and Staples Mill Road/Parham Road, respectively, which are also known for crashes (see full list below).

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Henrico Police are going after drivers who make some of the county's busiest intersections notorious for crashes.

For example, red light running contributed to at least some of the 46 crashes that occurred at the intersection of W. Broad Street and Pump/Pouncey Tract in 2009, making it the county's worst intersection for accidents. But police say the problem isn't just in Short Pump.

Everybody seems to be in so much of a hurry. At Laburnum and Gay in the East end, it's like the red light is only a suggestion.

At Parham and Brook in central Henrico, the same story.

And in densely populated Short Pump, we can only assume drivers are tired of waiting on yet another signal to stop.

"We see a problem countywide. Drivers just need to slow down for that yellow light and come to a stop," said Sgt. A.J. Gordon of the Henrico Police traffic safety unit.

It's no coincidence that those intersections rank among the worst for crashes. So, Henrico Police are going after drivers who run red lights, spreading a message that if you cause an accident, or get pulled over, it's a very costly proposition.

"You have increased insurance rates because of the accident, you have increased insurance rates because of  the ticket, it's just very costly to any individual who attempts to run a red light," Gordon said.

In 2009, Henrico Police wrote more than 1900 tickets for running red lights. And just in the past three months, they've seen crashes seven times at Laburnum and Nine Mile. Eight times at Broad and Pump/Pouncey Tract. And nine times at Laburnum and Gay (all among the top for crashes in the second quarter of 2010).

This "red light special" will continue until more drivers realize when it's time to apply the brakes.

"Red light running is just not worth it. It's not worth your life," Gordon said.

NBC12 obtained a list of the Top 10 accident locations, which includes the number of reported accidents in 2009 broken down by area of the county. While not every crash is caused by red light violations, police say the numbers would decrease if drivers obeyed the signals more consistently.

West End:
1. W. Broad Street and Pump/Pouncey Tract Rds. 46
2. W. Broad Street and Brookriver Drive. 42
3. W. Broad Street and Glenside Drive. 41
4. Parham Road and Patterson Avenue. 32
T5. W. Broad Street and Gaskins Road. 28
T5. Parham Road and Staples Mill Road. 28
T5. Parham Road and Three Chopt Road. 28
T5. Parham Road and Quioccasin Road. 28
9. W. Broad Street and Parham Road. 27
10. W. Broad Street and Cox Road. 26

Central Henrico:
1. Parham Road and Brook Road. 40
2. Parham Road and Woodman Road. 20
3. Brook Road and JEB Stuart Parkway. 18
4. Chamberlayne Road and Wilmer Avenue. 15
5. Woodman Road and Mountain Road. 14
T6. Chamberlayne Road and I-95. 13
T6. Brook Road and Wilkinson Road. 13
T8. Chamberlayne Road and Wilkinson Road. 12
T8. Brook Road and Lakeside Avenue. 12
T8. Parham Road and Sanctuary Rd. 12 

Eastern Henrico: 
1. Laburnum Avenue and Gay Avenue. 32
2. Laburnum Avenue and Nine Mile Road. 23
3. Laburnum Avenue and I-64. 21
T4. Laburnum Avenue and Williamsburg Road. 20
T4. Laburnum Avenue and Darbytown Road. 20
6. Laburnum Avenue and Mechanicsville Turnpike. 19
7. Mechanicsville Turnpike and Crump Street. 17
8. Nine Mile Road and South Airport Drive. 15
9. Laburnum Avenue and Creighton Road. 14
10. Laburnum Avenue and Harris Avenue. 13 

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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