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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 05:40 GMT 06:40 UK
Running the red

Britain is becoming a nation of amber gamblers, according to the campaigning arm of the RAC.

Increasing numbers of drivers and cyclists are failing to stop when the lights turn red, putting their own lives and those of other road users in danger.

The RAC Foundation says the problem is now so bad that police should switch resources away from speed cameras and into catching people who run red lights.

  • Breakfast talked to Sue Nicholson of the RAC Foundation about why drivers feel it's worth taking the risk.

    The RAC Foundation conducted research in London and Glasgow. They discovered that around one in ten car drivers failed to obey a red light.

    A taxi driver drove through a red light and I became a wheelchair user! I can't believe that more traffic cameras are not used on lights to deter motorists from playing Russian roulette.

    Sarah Morris

    The figures were even worse for bus drivers: around one in five rumbled through a red.

    And one in two of all London cyclists ignored red lights, even though they are probably the most vulnerable of all road users. Those in Glasgow were rather better behaved: only one in four failed to stop.

    The RAC says the survey shows what happens when drivers get frustrated by traffic jams:

    "Growing congestion is frustrating for all road users. It makes them late," says the RAC Foundation's Kevin Delaney.

    "This may increase the temptation to ignore red traffic lights, but it is dangerous and a foolish way to beat the clock.

    "However, it seems that an increasing number of drivers and cyclists are putting their safety and that of other road users, especially pedestrians, in jeopardy by risking it at traffic lights.

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  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    Running the red
    The BBC's Transport Correspondent Simon Montague reporting



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