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Red-Light Runner Causes Injury Crash in Murrieta

Witnesses told police the driver of a red Ford Mustang ran a red light at Jefferson Avenue and Elm Street, causing the crash.

Two people were injured Thursday in Murrieta in a crash in which one driver is suspected of running a red light.

Murrieta police and fire personnel responded to the wreck that was reported at about 12:45 p.m. at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Elm Street. Responding crews found two damaged vehicles—a red Ford Mustang and a white Kaiser Permanente van—at the intersection, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Jay Froboese.

Based on statements gathered from witnesses, Froboese said the driver of the Kaiser Permanente van was westbound on Elm when he entered the intersection on a green light.

"According to independent witnesses that saw the accident, the red Mustang was (traveling) north on Jefferson, then ran a red light, then slid into the driver's side of the van," Froboese said.

Both drivers complained of pain and were taken by ambulance to an area hospital, Froboese said, adding that the accident was a good reminder to stop at red lights.

"We would ask all drivers to pay particular attention to the red lights in Murrieta," Froboese said. "We recently shut down the red-light cameras and red-light issues have not been in the news lately but it is one of the types of accidents that cause the most serious injuries."

(In November 2012, Murrieta voters approved a measure to ban red-light cameras in the city.)

"We'd really appreciate—from the Police Department and the Fire Department's point of view—(for motorists) to be especially careful with running red lights or pushing the yellow light. Just make sure that you stop on the red to avoid this type of accident."

Thursday's crash was still being investigated, so it had not yet been determined whether the Mustang driver would be cited for a red-light violation, according to the sergeant.

"We didn't see any impairment so we don't believe (alcohol or drugs) are going to be an issue," Froboese said.

Callitlikeitis March 01, 2013 at 02:40 AM
A red light camera would not have stopped that car. TRUE. But driver's seem to pay a little more attention when their actions may cost them money.
Timber March 01, 2013 at 04:27 AM
I tried standing on a corner that has traffic signals with my camera in order to stop red light runners. It didn't work either. I think the cars momentum had something to do with not stopping.
Timber March 01, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Cyclist Motorized vehicles are inherently dangerous. It is an impossibility to protect everyone at all times under all circumstances. But if it were possible to provide such protection your government and insurance companies would have discovered how by now. Risk is/has and will always present.
Andrea Smith March 01, 2013 at 06:26 AM
At this point who really cares who fault it is. Thank God nobody died, I'm sure both drivers have been guilty of running a yellow light this time they weren't lucky. We all have been guilty to sit here and point fingers really? This is a life lesson learned I'm sure. We are called to love each other and encourage one another pray for each other. To both drivers I'm so very glad you are both okay my prayers and love are with you both. I pray that you both can find it in your hearts to forgive one another for what has happened and help each other through the healing process. May God Bless both of you!
DB March 01, 2013 at 02:25 PM
That is why it is law to have insurance.....if he paying his own hospital bills and totaled car, perhaps he should insure his next one. A camera would not have stopped this anymore than making it illegal to run red lights would have stopped it.
Susan Marsh March 01, 2013 at 04:57 PM
We still have traffic cameras. Look up at the signal the next time you are sitting at a red light. There are cameras. We voted to get rid of red light cameras not all the surveillance cameras around town.
SA March 01, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Red light cameras do not stop schmucks from driving. Commuting (driving) is not a drag race, i.e. green light does not mean hammer it, as schmucks will run red lights. Outdoor public Government cameras are an infringement on citizens’ rights.
American Right March 01, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Outlaw cars. Car accidents kill people. If just one life is saved it is worth it. Outlaw planes. _Plane crashes kill people. If just one life is saved it is worth it. The moronic logic of a Liberal Socialist Democrat.
Cindy March 01, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Maybe it's just a coincidence, but I've noticed that since November (when red light cameras were voted to be disconnected) many more people are sailing through intersections on the red. I was heading down Clinton Keith to pick up my son from Vista H.S. and there was an SUV beside me where the driver never touched their brakes despite the fact the light had turned red when they were a half a block from the intersection. Childrren were being relieased from Antelope Hills and a car stopped just short of turning left into the SUV's path. I see cars racing through stop signs on Lincoln all the time and through red lights all around town. Are people color blind or do they not understand that a red light means STOP?!?
SA March 01, 2013 at 07:48 PM
Shane: Again you make zero sense … A “store” is private property that owners allows shoppers to shop there i.e. reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Red light cameras are 1) ineffective as the citation is easily beaten 2) red light cameras caused more rear-end collisions 3) red light cameras violates privacy… regardless of red light cameras people / schmucks will always run red lights…
American Right March 01, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Cindy a red light camera will not reach out and grab a car and force a negligent driver to stop. However idiots like the one you mentioned above are risking the lives of others and if they kill someone through such negligence they are guilty of manslaughter and deserve jail time. A sign and camera with threat of a ticket will not deter those that break laws and risk others.
all-c-ing-eye March 01, 2013 at 08:35 PM
People run red lights everywhere and there are a myriad of reasons as to why this happens. I have seen police, firetrucks etc go thru red lights [for a good cause] but still to someone getting hit by one of these is " I had the green light and never saw it coming". Someone coming home from a 14 hr. shift at work is tired and their mind isnt clear and runs a light, it just happens. they run stop signs too and sometimes just sit there while they have the green light "Hello? wake up". We are human. No sympathy for drunks or people racing their cars they are accident looking for a place to happen and it does at red lights. As far as those camera systems it was something that was abused and in control of the wrong people. We all know from the time we are children that red means stop, green go but never learned what a fast yellow was supposed to be for.
Fauntleroy Murphy March 01, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Red light cameras don't trigger the brakes on any vehicle so with or without them people not paying attention will still run red lights. They do help keep people honest when they intend on pushing a red light but, those red light runnings rarely end in accident. It's typically people texting, putting on make up, reading facebook, or my all time favorite "holding the phone to your ear and talking with the other one".
Jennifer McCaughey March 01, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Here come the whiners! People were getting tickets for running the lights when the cameras were there and this guy ran one after they were removed. (were the cameras even at the intersection?) If they prevented people from running red lights, no one would have been ticketed, did you think of that geniuses? Obviously they created a false sense of security based on some of the idiotic statements I am seeing here...maybe that is a good reason for them to be gone as well.
DB March 02, 2013 at 12:15 AM
We need to ban cars, if even it only saves one life, it will be worth it! Perhaps we should make it illegal to run a red light? I am sure that will stop people from running red lights just as sure as banning guns will stop criminals from using them!
Rob March 02, 2013 at 12:53 AM
"An uniformed quote from Murrieta police Sgt. Jay Froboese. The driver RAN the RED LIGHT. Does a camera WARN the driver, automatically apply the vehicles brakes, stop those going through the green light. Cyclist - Please tell us, how wold a red light camera have PREVENTED this accident? STATS - They have shown accidents, especially rear-end, actually increase with red light cameras. http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/studies If the CITY and people such as CYCLIST are truly concerned about the safety of the community the solution is clear and, the best part, without cost. All that must be done is ........ {drum roll} INCREASE THE LENGTH OF THE YELLOW LIGHT. The stats are overwhelming, with a SoCal community (Loma Linda) being a shining example. They increased the lenght of the yellow and violations dropped 92% http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/yellow-lights The CITY excuse, it slows throughput. You know the same city that times lights in commercial areas so you must stop, ... you know to increase commerce. If this is about protecting the people, increase the yellow. Otherwise, the people have spoken, NO RED LIGHT CAMERAS IN MURRIETA!!!!!
Paul March 02, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Susan comments in a reply below citizen at 7:22 PM 2-28 that we still have cameras at red light corners. These are connected to the central traffic control room. I think it is at the city hall. Anyway the operator there monitors the traffic waiting to go through the intersection, flow and can alter the timing of red/green lights. I am guessing these are not detailed enough to identify the driver or read the license plates, but I do not know. There are also some small objects visable near traffic or light posts near the red/green signals that will respond to electric signals sent by fire trucks to change to green for the fire truck. Maybe can be activated by other emergency vehicles.
Paul March 02, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Several years ago the city openly approved installing an inexpensive small box to many of the red signal lights. I think they called them rat boxes. They display a small red light at right angles to the traffic flow when the red light goes on to the traffic flow direction. It is wired to the SAME electric circuit going to the regular red light so the small rat box turns red at the same time and can be seen by a police officer on the side street out of sight to the motorist and out of sight of the actual red light the car driver sees. The tiny small red box is not noticeable on the side street compared to the much larger green/yellow/red signal light unless you look for it. Thus the rat box can not go on unless the electricity has also been sent to the main red light. I think they cost less than $100 each to install.
Rob March 02, 2013 at 09:48 PM
I assure you the quote FOR the red lights are made by city staff or people associated/paid by the camera company. No other explanation exists when the alternatives solutions for community safety are not even considered.
Paul March 03, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Red Light Rat Boxes Here is a link to a public information release from Santa Clara County about red light safety and this has photos of the rat boxes about half way through the article. toward the end of this article there is a link to a safety video about the rat boxes. http://www.sccgov.org/sites/rda/Public%20Notices/Pages/County-of-Santa-Clara-Steps-Up-Traffic-Safety-Efforts.aspx
Paul March 03, 2013 at 09:59 AM
In my example above the rat box is pointed 90 degrees to the side of the direction of red light that is being monitored. Sometimes the small rat box LED light is pointed 180 degrees oposite the direction of the red stop light so officers can note cars comming from the opposite direction on the same street . Thus an intersection of two busy streets could have 8 rat boxes for complete coverage. If the above link to the safety article from Santa Clara County Government did not work try again here. http://www.sccgov.org/sites/rda/Public%20Notices/Pages/County-of-Santa-Clara-Steps-Up-Traffic-Safety-Efforts.aspx
Kelly Richardson March 04, 2013 at 02:47 AM
Cindy, I have observed the same & agree with you. I see 5-6 cars EVERY red light sail through at the Winchester/Margarita light. ((never a red light camera int)) but I honestly feel people are so used to it, they stop & let them all through before proceeding thru a green light. But I feel sorry for out of towners not familiar with our BAD intersections. I see some of the worst cases of driving while taking my kids to VMHS & feel that the kids learning to drive, learn the BAD driving through parents. Then take in experienced drivers speeding & running red lights & we will have more fatalities. Everyone needs to slow down & take time to get to where you need to be. While yes we have all made mistakes blatant red light running is SO prevalent in our citys.
Kelly Richardson March 04, 2013 at 02:54 AM
" those red light runnings rarely end in accident. " Really, where are these statistics you are speaking of I would love to see what you actually based this information on. Please post your links to this.
Kelly Richardson March 04, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Everyone talks about having a longer yellow light is the answer, but is this because everyone is SPEEDING & can't safely stop at the length the yellow is turning to red? Because the lights are set to a certain speed limit (example) a 45mph speed limit should have a 4.5 second yellow. Secondly for those who are so convinced that their were more accidents at certain lights around the country after red light cameras were installed. I wonder if you looked into if they were rear end collisions, or side impact crashes? Because EVERY study I looked at said while yes some had increased accidents the "first year" they were rear end accidents that result in less bodily damage accidents. Where side impact collisions were reduced by at least 12%. No, A red light camera will not stop a car. It's sad drivers can't do that all on their own.
MSJC Student March 07, 2013 at 05:18 AM
I live in the neighborhood by the Clinton Keith and Nutmeg traffic camera. There was debris from accidents all the time at that light regardless of the camera being there or not. It did cause several rear end collisions because people were so worried about the yellow changing so quickly that they would slam their brakes and not even drive through a yellow because they were so paranoid. I am grateful the lights are gone and we have not had any collisions at our light since the cameras were overturned. It is really great because we are saving the city money by not paying for the cameras and we have reduced accidents now, at least at the Clinton Keith Nutmeg light.
Rob March 07, 2013 at 07:00 AM
MSJC - Your comment reflects my experience at this exact light and our position is supported by analytical data, the pro red light side cannot, or has not, ever produced. LA took them out, Loma Linda took them out and still they insist on red light cameras because they "feel" safer. < I see this often in people who have this crazy notion that, if you aren't breaking the law you hav enothing to worry about. They say this based on checkpoints, cameras, on and on. They certainly defy, have not read, or do not comprehend Jefferson's quote, "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
Serious Sam March 07, 2013 at 12:40 PM
@Paul at 11:51 am 3-02-2013. I watched for the "rat box" on Murrieta Hot Springs Road at the corner of Hancock as I was driving down Hancock and still about a 100 or so feet from the corner after dark. It was easy to miss it unless I figured out exactly where to look. Then it is easy to notice the tiny red light displayed when the red light goes on for the traffric on MHS Rd. The rat box ALSO displayed yellow before the red. That looked to be important for an officer to focus on prior to the red comming on. A car going 45 mph is going 66 feet per second.
Don Lambert March 09, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Here is an item of interest about running red lights. A lot of men ride bicycles in San Francisco, That is not news. A 36 year old man is accused of riding his bicyle through a red light and hitting a 71 year old man in a crosswalk causing his death. This was in the Castro district. A judge ordered him several days ago to stand trial for manslaughter.
Don Lambert March 09, 2013 at 12:50 PM
How about red light SPEEDING TICKETS? I think this deserves a separate discussion because many of the factors involved are different. This might be the only way to reign in those drivers that are weaving in and out of different trafiic lanes moving at 70 or 75 per hour so they can go 80 or 85 mph while endangering themselves and everyone else nearby them. Sometimes there appear to be 2 or 3 cars racing each other weaving in and out. It is not practical to have CHP cars weaving in and out going even faster to catch them just for speeding. The MAXIMUM speed limit on freeways is 65 mph except where it is posted as 70 mph. Before it can be posted 70 mph an engineering and traffic survey has verified it is ok, or certain design standards have been met during construction. Then the MAXIMUM speed limit is 70 mph when posted. CA VC 22356 (a) and (b) and VC 22350. Some drivers think the freeway speed limit is 70 unless it is posted 65. Wrong! Some drivers think the MAXIMUM speed limit is the same thing as the "Prima Facie" limit VC 22352, or the basic speed limit VC 22350, and they could argue it is a nice clear day without much traffic so it is OK to drive faster that the sign says. Wrong again! The speed limits listed in CA VC 22352 are "Prima Facie" limits. A person could argue in court it was OK to go faster and still be safe. "Prima Facie" does NOT APPLY to limits defined or marked as "maximum speed limit" per CA VC 22349. (You can Google the VC codes)
Don Lambert March 09, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Automated Speed-Traffic Cameras. The small community of "Elmwood Place", Ohio, popultion around 2,200, is in the news for their 2 recently installed speeding cameras. One for each direction on the two lane road through town. It gave out 6,600 speeding tickets in the first month. A local judge just issued an injunction against its use. 1. It violates due process, there is not provision for ticketed persons to cross examine the speed camera company. 2. The village did NOT have signs up warning the motorists although the signs were required by state law. 3. The device was not calibrated by a certified police officer. The news article implies the camera company collected the $105 fines and got to keep 40% of it. According to the news article 13 states already have SPEEDING light cameras and 12 states have laws prohibiting them.

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