PHOENIX — A Phoenix police officer was killed in a crash involving what witnesses said was a red-light runner overnight, and unfortunately, these crashes are not uncommon occurrences.
According to the most recent data available, which is from 2019, AAA Arizona says our state is number one in the nation when it comes to how many people are killed by drivers blowing through a red light.
"We live in a fast-moving society," said AAA spokesperson Aldo Vazquez. "But, impatience can lead to deadly consequences."
AAA's most recent data shows our state lost more than 350 people to red-light running between 2008 and 2017.
Among the notable highlights from the data:
- 28 percent of crash deaths that occur at signalized intersections are the result of a driver running through a red light.
- Per capita, Arizona has the highest rate of red-light running fatalities while New Hampshire has the lowest rate.
- Nearly half (46 percent) of those killed in red-light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles and more than 5 percent were pedestrians or cyclists. Just over 35 percent of those killed were the drivers who ran the red light.
Their research also finds a majority of drivers acknowledged how dangerous running a red light is.
Despite the danger, one in three drivers said they had done it in the last 30 days, with many saying they did not think they would be caught by law enforcement.
In Monday night's crash near Cave Creek Road and Greenway Parkway that left Phoenix Police Officer Ginarro New dead, officials said speed appeared to be a factor on behalf of the red-light runner. The impact was so great, both vehicles involved were destroyed. Debris from the collision was scattered throughout the intersection and a nearby parking lot.