As public schools in Thomas and Grady counties are now back in session, the timing for National Stop on Red Week, which runs from August 4-10, could not have been better.

Yes, traffic in the mornings and in the afternoons has picked up considerably, now that the kids are back in school. That’s all the more reason to pay attention and follow with the rules of the road — especially when those rules say to stop.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2004-16, an estimated 10,125 people were killed in crashes related to someone running a red light. In 2017, the death toll from someone running a red light was 880, and 132,000 people were hurt. About half of the crash deaths from someone running a red light involved a pedestrian, cyclist and occupants of vehicles struck, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The National Coalition for Safe Roads found that more drivers run red lights in May than in any other month and that more than 1.2 million violations of running red lights happened between 1 and 5 p.m. The organization’s figures also show that 93 percent of drivers say running a red light is unacceptable but almost 43 percent of drivers surveyed said they had done so in the past month.

Now that school is in, and that means more cars with kids and school buses by the dozens full of kids traversing the roads, stopping when the light turns red and stopping at the stop sign when there is no traffic signal are more imperative than ever. 

The National Coalition for Safer Roads also has a hashtag — #StopOnRed2019 — for those interested in starting and joining the conversation on social media.

It’s much easier to be a part of the conversation than to be one of the statistics