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POLL: Are Red Light Runners a Problem in Dearborn?

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments this month announced the communities with the highest numbers of red-light-running crashes–and Dearborn's on the list.

Do people driving through Dearborn have a problem with red lights?

Statistics released this month by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments suggest they might: Dearborn ranked fifth in a list of Southeast Michigan communities with the most red-light running crashes based on a three-year average.

On average from 2009-2011, 114 drivers in Dearborn were involved in crashes that included someone running a red light. Red-light-running crashes accounted for nearly 4 percent of all accidents during that same time period.

Dearborn ranked below Detroit, Sterling Heights, Warren and Livonia on that list.

Statistics were released as part of National Stop on Red Week, held Aug. 5-11–a partnership between SEMCOG and the Federal Highway Administration.

In a larger scope, SEMCOG announced that 3,505 crashes that occurred at signalized intersections in 2011 involved running a red light. Seven of those crashes were fatal. While these figures represent a decrease over 2010, SEMCOG says "they are still too high."

"We're all in a hurry these days and especially distracted with cell phones and text messages, construction and congestion," SEMCOG Executive Director Paul Tait said in a statement. "This is an urgent reminder: When you’re driving, focus on the road and please remember to stop when the light is red. Even when the light is green for you, make sure that the vehicle with the red light has actually stopped before proceeding through the intersection."

Do you think running red lights is a problem in Dearborn?

Sanad A August 09, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I think there's a bigger issue with people driving and using their cell phones to text or talk on the phone. I've witnessed so many almost fatal accidents due to a driver not paying attention to the road but rather their phone.
City of Dearborn (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I think the most frequent light I see people run in Dearborn is at Ford Road and Silvery Lane. But it is a pretty frustrating set of lights heading up to Telegraph from Gulley with the way they're timed.
Rose August 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I see a lot of people running through the light on Michigan Avenue at Nowlin, I've almost been hit there a few times. I also have noticed the same thing at Oakwood and Beech. Just because these drivers are on the "main" roads they seem to think that the side street drivers are inferior to them?
malak August 09, 2012 at 01:49 PM
This past week two drivers ran a red light as it was time for me to pass. Both were on two separate days and time. Luckily I was paying attention. Both of these incidents happened on Miller and Mich. Ave.
Ali August 09, 2012 at 02:09 PM
My wife is a nurse at Oakwood, she worked the 4 am shift and took the Oakwood Blvd route from Michigan Ave. Those traffic lights favor the Ford traffic even at that time of day. For her, it was fear of being the only driver on the street at that time of day, and ultimately she started treating those lights like stop signs.
Tom Laundroche August 09, 2012 at 03:01 PM
There is no excuse for running red lights. Lights and signs are there for a purpose. To save you and us from you.
Sarah Jorgensen August 09, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I wonder what one is afraid of on oakwood blvd at 4am that it justifies going through red lights? There are a lot scarier places to be at 4am than oakwood.
AndreaVH August 09, 2012 at 05:24 PM
The WORST is Miller Road and Warren Ave....everyone tries getting across before its red ...and even then some just go through the red. Worst time is afternoon.
Jim August 09, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Two commenters here have mentioned that some people just don't see the lights. Here are some cheap things that will make the lights more prominent. A. Paint "signal ahead" on the pavement. A study sponsored by Florida's DOT found that doing so could cut running by up to 74%. B. Make the signal lights bigger in diameter or, add another signal head. A study by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that doing either one could cut crashes by 47%. C. Add backboards to the signal heads, or enlarge those you have. The TTI study found that doing so could cut crashes by 32%. D. For nighttime driving, install brighter bulbs in the street lights and put up lighted name signs for the cross street. These are the cheapest, quickest and best solutions to red light running. The city should try them at the ten worst intersections. They are far more effective than red light cameras.
City of Dearborn (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 06:54 PM
These are really good ideas, Jim! You sound like you've studied this issue before.
City of Dearborn (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Here's an interesting piece of info from SEMCOG: Michigan Avenue and Miller Road has the highest number of crashes per year in the city. Anyone else hate turning left at that intersection? I know I do!
Esteban August 09, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Jessica, As I wrote above, Detroit, Warren, and Sterling Heights all have higher populations than Dearborn. Livonia has less people and (according to your article) more red-light accidents. So, Dearborn is 4th in population for SE Michigan, and 5th for accidents. This is actually something positive. While we all want to see them reduced, I don't see how Dearborn's red light accidents are out of the ordinary.
Lee Jacobsen August 09, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Ignoring a red light depends on the circumstances, and common sense. In Detroit, at night, every light is treated as a 'rolling' stop sign. Otherwise , you car is subject to car jacking. In Dearborn, check even if you have the green light, better alive than 'dead right'. The "no turn on red' signal at Telegraph and Fordson is poorly designed. Yesterday, for folk on Fordson, the light was red from 4:13 to 4:23 , ten minutes. For fun, I also timed the green , which was 30 seconds. You can read a book at that light. Also, with the 'no turn on red' sign on the right, and all traffic approaching from the left, who looks at the sign? 4 years ago I added a 'no turn on red' sign on the lamp post to the left, hope it saved a few folks from getting tickets. Oops! Are we allowed to add viable traffic signs? Solution? Add a push button to turn the light red for Telegraph so kids can cross the street safely to Bryant middle school, and dump the 'no turn on red'. Right now, no sane kid would have the patience to wait ten minutes.
City of Dearborn (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 08:32 PM
You're right, Esteban - it's good to look at these stats relative to population. But like you said, we all want to see crashes reduced, so it's still something worth discussing, right?
Denny B. August 09, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Lee is right about Telegraph and Fordson. There could also be a sign on the line next to the light "No Turn on Red" Everyone should be able to see that ! I also notice a lot of people running the red lights at Ford Road and Silvery Lane and Ford Road and Gulley. The Dearborn Hts. Police ticket a lot of those drivers !
Lisa Marie Gutowski August 09, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Dearborn is the WORST at roll-stops, not obeying traffic lights, cutting people off. The intersection of Outer Dr/Military (the 3 way) is horrific! People are in the far right lane, supposedly to go right and they go left, people in the middle lanes go right. Seriously- a cop would make a mint off of dumb ass people just in that intersection alone! Cannot believe there aren't more accidents there.
Lisa Marie Gutowski August 09, 2012 at 09:19 PM
seriously- was pulling out of the Kroger parking lot (S side), did a full and complete stop before turning right onto Mich. and because of that the jerk behind me honked her horn! Then proceeded to not stop! People treat stop signs like yield signs around here, where are they learning that from?
Mary Jo Durivage August 09, 2012 at 09:41 PM
This problem seems to have gotten dramatically worse over the last few years. No idea why. I normally will see these drivers on Michigan between Monroe and Military. Pretty scary.
Carol Perrin August 10, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Not only running red lights but stop signs also. Another pne I love is when someone is stopped at a red light and when it turns green put their left turn signal on. Real considerate to the drivers behind them. Driving in the left lane real slow talking on the phone, using their hands to express themselves during the conversation. Amazing!!!! I also get a kick out of the drivers training vehicles with the instructor talking on a cell phone while the student is trying to drive!
Cocky Lockey August 10, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Another "The Sky Is Falling" article. How come Henny Penny never notes that Dearborn is second only to Detroit in illegal immigrants soaking the taxpayers for welfare benefits while demanding an ICE branch office next to ACCESS?
Robert Ankeny August 10, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Population is of course one factor, Esteban; also so is the traffic volumes, i.e, mileage, number of redlight intersections, etc. Bob A.
Kathleen A. August 10, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Regarding the Fordson @ northbound Telegraph traffic light issue: it appears the signal is remaining red for Fordson traffic turning right onto Telegraph for much longer than 10 minutes now. Michael Budai is the MDOT engineer (313-375-2400) responsible for this light. I have left a message for him and urge others to do the same.
Lee Jacobsen August 10, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Hi Kathleen, thanks for the contact person, and , as she says, leave a voice mail message anytime and Mike will get the message. The easiest solution for now is to just remove the 'no turn on red' sign, allowing motorists the opportunity to use their own best judgement. At the very least, add a sub sign allowing alternate hours. Why is it a no turn on red in the first place?? The light does not help the Bryant middle school students much, as they still have to contend with the southbound Telegraph traffic. I suspect most students use an alternate route to school or ignore the light and just dodge traffic.
Adrienne August 11, 2012 at 12:58 AM
The Fordson light is no turn on red because there's poor visibility around that corner. It was a major issue a couple of years ago when they switched that light to a blinking yellow for a few months in winter. Its the only light in a one and a half mile stretch that slows down traffic before hitting the neighborhoods between Michigan Ave and Cherry Hill. They simply need to fix it to run on corresponding intervals with the light on Cherry Hill. No turn on red, as painful and impossible as it is now with a ten minute long light, was necessary because there's simply no way to see oncoming traffic at a safe enough distance. A curve in the road and trees block the view.
Lee Jacobsen August 11, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Adrienne, appreciate the explanation, but there is now plenty of visibility, and , at night, headlights add even more input to a driver's decision whether to proceed or not. A compromise for 'no turn on red' would be to add a sign defining hours , such as 7AM to 9AM and 3PM to 6PM. Most folk ignore the 'no turn on red' anyway, as the light is obviously non functional, and there have been no horrific crashes . Folk turning onto Telegraph, using their judgement, just by their turning, will slow down approaching traffic anyway, so a flashing yellow for Telegraph would make more sense. There are long stretches where no traffic on Telegraph is proceeding North. Even if there were a car in the right lane on Telegraph approaching during a turn attempted from Fordson, there is plenty of room and opportunity for Northbound Telegraph traffic, with 4 lanes, to make adjustments to the left. Many in the neighborhood have simply abandoned Fordson for access to Telegraph, instead using S. Highland or Rockford which does not have a red light to bother with.
Tammi Ruselowski August 13, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Running red lights is a SERIOUS issue. I was hit several years ago by a young woman who was talking on her cell phone and ran the red light on Michigan Avenue and Howard. I see people several times a week running the red light at Outer Driver and Monroe. Not quite sure of the solution...increase patrols at intersections with high incidences??
dearborn resident 2 August 13, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Just an FYI...turning on a NO Turn On Red is a fine of $125 and 2 points on your license.
POWDERBURNER August 13, 2012 at 06:34 PM
This city is crazy with poorly timed red lights and an over abundance of stop signs. Couple that with a segment of the population that requires an accomplice with them to pass their drivers license test (yes, I see it all the time), and you have a recipe for disaster. As for myself, I continue to resist the federali's intrusion into my truck and do not wear a seat belt. THAT IS MY CHOICE, NOT THEIRS. And as long as gas hovers around $4 / gal., because of our idiots in government, I have and will continue to run every red light and stop sign that costs me money, rather than sit there idling while there isn't a car in sight. Obamas regime is leading to the downfall of society as we know it, and, other than investing in lead, that's my contribution.
Lee Jacobsen August 13, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Powder...no seatbelt! Perhaps that may become a law, after all, helmets are no longer required. Is it smart? Does not matter, it is your choice, and the freedom of choice includes a penalty clause of fines....$65 for now. Hypocritical ? Yes, as antique car owners don't need seatbelts, so your best option? Get a 50s pickup truck and avoid the fines , all legally!! Also , I would like to see the catastrophic insurance fee applied to drivers, not cars, and save us all a few bucks. We can all drive just one vehicle at a time, right? Better yet, with 2 billion in the fund, let's cancel the fee and let the fund deplete for awhile since times are tight.
Chris Clough August 30, 2012 at 12:16 PM
For those of us who work in Detroit everyday and are familiar with the neighborhoods, I can't stand people who practice this behavior of rolling stop signs. The worst problem is in mid town after games which is really the last place its needed. Stop making it more dangerous for everyone else by making up your own traffic laws. If you're too afraid to drive in Detroit then don't come.

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