Fort Smith Drivers Concerned About Red Light Runners

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — It's an ongoing and growing problem in the River Valley, drivers running red lights.

Data from the Fort Smith Police Department shows an uptick in citations for the traffic violation.

According to police, patrols are doing more to try and prevent this problem from happening.

From February 2017 to February of 2018 officers wrote about 803 citations to drivers running both red lights and stop signs. From February of 2018 to this year, 871 citations have been written.

"We have to see the infraction to enforce it and obviously you can do that and nevertheless have people running red lights that you don't see," said Aric Mitchell, Fort Smith Police Department Public Information Officer.

Dash cam video clearly shows the driver of a vehicle has the green light and the right of way, but a semi-truck still turns in front of him.

"You could get a ticket and worst than that you could end up in an accident, and you could succeed at running a red light and away with it a few times, but it`ll eventually catch up with you," said Mitchell.

Police say it's a risk that many drivers are taking. One that could lead to serious problems like getting into a t-bone accident with a child riding in the car.

"I got two kids. Especially when I have a bunch of kids with me that`s when I worry a lot," said driver Tonya Gandy.

It's a concern for a lot of people on the road.

"It seems like it's been increasing, yes. I feel like there's going to be big accidents happening," said driver Ashley Mickle.

"It's very scary for the person driving that's not running a red light. You have to watch for everyone else. I could have swerved and hit someone else when they almost sideswiped me," said Julie Raggio.

If you've noticed an intersection where a lot of drivers run red lights, the Fort Smith Police Department wants to hear from you.

You can email the department at info@fortsmithpd.org, send a message on Facebook, or call the non-emergency line at (479)785-4221.

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