More tickets given for running red lights

YAKIMA, Wash. -- It's National Stop on Red Week. The number of tickets for running traffic lights in Yakima increased significantly.

Green means go and red means stop. It's been that way for decades, but apparently that's news to some drivers.

"Have you seen people run red lights here in Yakima?" asked KIMA.
"All the time. Sometimes they don't even look they just keep on going," said driver John Neal.
"Just a few minutes ago," said Paula Bezinet
"Like every other day or so," said Cody Reevis.
"I have, I'm actually one of them," said Tamara.
"No, but I have," said Neil.

It turns out they aren't the only ones. A lot of people aren't stopping at red lights. The numbers are higher than last year for both Yakima County and in Yakima city limits.

For the first eight months of 2011, there were18 in the county and 21 this year. YPD officers wrote 157 tickets from January to August last year and 243 this year. That's a 54 percent increase in the city. Police say 195 of those tickets involved a collision. YPD says it's a common sight, but it's difficult to give tickets to drivers who run the lights.

"It's not uncommon to see that throughout the day. It is, however, more challenging to safely maneuver around traffic safe for us as well as the other motoring public to get in the position to stop every one you see," said YPD Officer Jim Moore.

It's not just dangerous for others, but also the driver.

"This is definitely something that does cause collisions when it does happen," said Moore.

YPD says 80 percent of the drivers who got tickets for running a red light got caught because they were involved in an accident. A frightening statistic that's making some think twice.

"Not good. I don't want to cause any accidents," said Neil.
"Scared to run a light I guess a little less likely to. I'd probably be a little bit more cautious," said Tamara.

It's a big risk with little to no reward.

YPD says it's difficult for officers to decide to go after someone who has run a light. The flow and pattern of traffic, the light cycle and direction they need to travel are what dictate whether or not they can safely pursue the violator.