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Legislation Seeks To Make Miami-Dade County Intersections Safer

MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Keeping South Florida drivers safe at busy intersections, without the use of controversial red-light cameras, will be on the agenda for Miami-Dade County Commissioners on Tuesday.

Commission Chairman Joe Martinez plans to introduce legislation that would reduce red-light running and improve safety of intersections by implementing a four-second "all-red clearance interval."

An "all-red" signal in the traffic light cycle briefly stops traffic in all directions.

Chairman Martinez wants the "all-red" signal changes at high crash and high volume intersections throughout Miami-Dade County.

"All-red clearance intervals" studied by the AAA of Michigan and the City of Detroit have been found to be an effective way to reduce collisions at hazardous intersections. Chairman Martinez is hoping to bring similar changes to the synchronization of Miami-Dade street lights.

"One of the most dangerous aspects of crossing an intersection is that you never know when someone will run a red light and possibly hit you while you're lawfully crossing the intersection," said Chairman Martinez. "As the traffic lights in intersections transition from red to green, it may be more beneficial to have all lights turn red for a few moments in order to clear the intersection and reduce accidents."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, intersectional accidents account for 48-percent of injury-related traffic accidents nationwide, and generate almost $101 billion of societal cost each year. These accidents are often caused by motorists trying to "beat" red lights, and these motorists are responsible for about 800 deaths and 200,000 injuries each year nationwide, according to insurance industry figures.

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