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Red-Light Runner Causes Fatal Crash in Pittsburgh

Red street light hanging above a city intersection

Pittsburgh Car Accident Attorneys Explain What's Being Done to Keep Drivers Safe

A 73-year-old city man is facing a homicide charge in connection with a fatal, red-light-running car accident in the Strip District.

The incident took place last April in Pittsburgh when the driver allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 16th Street. The driver allegedly struck another vehicle turning onto Liberty Avenue. The crash killed a 48-year-old Pittsburgh woman and sent two other people to the hospital to treat severe injuries, according to local media. From the details available, the incident does not appear to be a "Pittsburgh left" gone wrong.

Following an investigation, a charge of "homicide by vehicle" was filed against the man in January.

It is not clear whether the victims' families will seek injury or wrongful death compensation.

What is a red-light-running accident?

Fatal car accidents caused by red-light runners are tragically becoming more and more common.

On average, two people are killed every day in red-light running crashes in the U.S., AAA says. Almost 30 percent of fatal intersection accidents are the result of a driver running through a red light.

Red-light running accidents occur when a vehicle enters an intersection after the light has turned red and then strikes another vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclist, etc. If a vehicle does not come to a full stop to make a "right on red" maneuver and gets into an accident, this is also considered a red-light running crash. Oftentimes, the accident configuration is that of a T-bone. Sideswipes and head-on collisions are common, as well.

It is not a red-light running accident if the traffic signal changes while the vehicle is already in the intersection, according to IIHS.

Analysts estimate that blowing off red lights is a major factor in almost 30 percent of all fatal accidents at intersections.

When the crash is not deadly, some of the common, severe injuries that may result include concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, spinal cord damage, internal bleeding, fractures and bone breaks, lost limbs, and disfigurement.

Pennsylvania's red-light rules

Every state has various rules of the road when it comes to red lights. In Pennsylvania, the rules include:

  • Right on red is legal when traffic conditions are clear and there isn't a "No Turn on Red" sign present. You must come to a full stop before making a right on red.
  • The "Ride on Red" law allows drivers to proceed through red lights at intersections if it seems the light is broken or malfunctioning.
  • Unless a posted traffic sign says otherwise, you may legally take a left turn at a red light if you are in the left lane and turning left from a one-way street onto another one-way street.

Safety upgrades at Pittsburgh intersections

It's not always clear why, but traffic lights at some intersections are more likely to be ignored than others.

To address the problem intersections, the governor recently announced funding for a handful of greater Pittsburgh area projects to replace signals and improve safety for pedestrians and/or bicyclists. The projects cost between $66,000 and $230,000 each. Project locations include:

  • Mt. Lebanon Boulevard (Route 3042) at Cook Drive, Castle Shannon borough
  • North Charles Street at Perrysville Avenue
  • Black Street and North Negley Avenue

Grants will also help to fund a review of pedestrian safety features at Mt. Lebanon Boulevard (Route 3042) at Cooke Drive and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety on Camp Horne Road.

Injured? Reach out to a lawyer from Recht Law.

Red-light running is dangerous and negligent driving behavior. When other people's recklessness causes accidents and injuries, victims deserve justice and compensation. Recht Law Offices is a law firm with a reputation for getting results in the Tri-state area.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a red-light running accident or some other kind of crash in the greater Pittsburgh area, contact Recht Law Offices for a free case evaluation. A member of our team will listen to the details of your case and how your injuries impact your everyday life. We can explain how the law applies to you, the value of your claim, and your legal options.

Contact us today to learn more.

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