NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – With thousands of crashes recorded across the state each year, police in the East are doing all they can to keep everyone safe. One of the key areas some departments are tackling involve drivers running red lights.
In New Bern, officers have identified several dangerous intersections they focus their attention on. Between 2010 and 2015, 74 crashes occurred at the intersection of MLK Blvd. and McCarthy Blvd, 73 crashes at MLK Blvd. and US 70, 65 crashes at Glenburnie Rd. and US 70, 52 crashes at NC 43 and NC 55, and 49 crashes at NC 55 and S. Glenburnie Rd.
In just 25 minutes, New Bern Police officers stopped seven cars for running the red light at MLK and McCarthy on Wednesday afternoon.
“Intersection crashes typically are going to involve some speed to it because someone is racing the light, so that increases the severity in the crashes,” said William Zerby, with the New Bern traffic enforcement unit.
Zerby said he, along with other officers, work as a team to catch those breaking the law. He said drivers won’t get warnings, but rather a $238 ticket.
“As soon as the light turns red, I turn my attention to the actual stop bar, and the car in its entirety has to be behind that white stop bar,” he said.
Drivers in New Bern said they weren’t surprised when WNCT told them how many cars had been stopped at a single intersection. Penny Sydnor said she does plan on changing the way she drives.
“I’ll be a little more cautious, because that’s expensive, besides dangerous,” Sydnor said.
In Jacksonville, the most dangerous intersections include Highway 17 and Western Blvd., Western Blvd. and Liberty, and Highway 17 and Georgetown.
In Greenville, police are still working on getting red light cameras approved to tackle the problem in the city.
Between 2009 and 2013, 133 crashes occurred at Charles Blvd. and Firetower Rd., 130 crashes at Firetower and Arlington Blvd., 122 crashes at Greenville Blvd. and Arlington, 90 crashes at Memorial Dr. and Arlington, and 77 crashes at S. Charles and E. 14th St.