TREND 11.3 NV Traffic Control Device Violation Citations 2018-2021

Nevada Traffic Research & Education Newsletter
JUNE 2022 // VOL. 11, ISSUE 03

TREND In Focus: An Analysis of Non-Adjudicated Citations In Nevada Related to Running Red Lights and Stop Signs

A descriptive analysis of citations for Traffic Control Device Violations (2018-2021)

By Emily Strickler, MPH, Merika Charupoom, Emily Carter, BS, Ana Reyes, MS, Laura K. Gryder, MA, and Deborah A. Kuhls, MD

Traffic Control Devices (TCDs) are signs, signals, or markings used to regulate, warn, or guide traffic (e.g., traffic signals, stop signs, yield signs, etc.) Failure to obey to traffic signals and signs can result in severe injuries and, in many cases, death; in 2020, an estimated 115,741 people were injured and 928 people were killed in crashes involving red-light running in the United States. [1] Traffic intersection crashes do not just involve drivers, but according to the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), over half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicle passengers. [2] 2020 fatality data for multiple-vehicle crashes resulting from red-light-running reveals these drivers are more likely to be male, younger, and have prior crashes or alcohol-impaired driving convictions. [1] Between 2015-2019, 511 people were killed in intersection-related crashes (some of which may be caused by red-light running) accounting for 32% of Nevada’s total fatalities.[3]

Some states have adopted automated enforcement to decrease crashes related to behaviors such as red-light running and other traffic signal violations. Red-light and speed detection systems are intended to reduce the incidence of red-light running and speeding, with the goal of reducing vehicular crashes attributed to these behaviors. [4] Automated enforcement cameras take photographs of vehicles speeding or entering an intersection and violating the red-light signal. Citations are then mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner. [5] Currently, Nevada does not allow the use of automated enforcement. This TREND in Focus analysis investigates the prevalence and demographics of Nevada drivers who were cited for failing to obey Traffic Control Devices such as red lights, stop and yield signs (N=90,570) from 2018-2021.

Image: Traffic Control Devices: Yield, Stop, and Traffic Light

Results

Overview

From 2018-2021 there were 1,425,762 traffic citations issued by law enforcement in Nevada. Of those, 90,570 (6.4%) were Traffic Control Device (TCD) violations. TCD violations are comprised of the following behaviors: red light violations (39.1%), stop sign violations (30.9%), general disobedience to TCD violations (e.g., fail to observe a traffic control device) (27.1%), right turn on red violations (where prohibited) (1.3%), yield sign violations (0.9%), and avoiding red light violations (e.g., driving through commercial property to avoid a red light) (0.6%) (Fig 1.).

Demographics

Drivers issued a TCD violation were on average (mean) 40.7 years of age (median 38, IQR 27-52). Approximately half (55.3%) of all TCD violators were issued to drivers 21-45 years of age. Men were more frequently cited than women (62.1% vs. 37.8%). The majority of citations were issued in Clark County, NV (72.1%). Of those who were cited, approximately 8 of every 10 drivers hold Nevada driver’s licenses and have vehicles registered in Nevada. The race and ethnicity breakdown for TCD violation citations were: Asian (5.9%), Black (12.3%), Hispanic (16.3%), Indian (Native American) (0.7%), and White (52.6%), with the remaining data unreported or unknown (12.1%).

Citation Information

The majority of citations were issued between 8AM-8PM (69.5%), and 79.7% of citations were issued on a weekday (Monday-Friday), with the highest prevalence on Wednesdays (17.7%). Traffic volume at the time of Traffic Control Device (TCD) violations was primarily light (35.2%) and moderate (39.3%). Crashes were associated with disobeying traffic control devices for 17,250 (19.0%) of the citations issued between 2018 and 2021. There were 1,923 (2.1%) TCD violation citations issued for events where the road was wet or impacted by moving or standing water.

A pie chart of the frequencies of traffic control device violations by citation type.
Figure 1. Traffic Control Device Violations by Type

*General Traffic Control Device Disobedience refers to citation descriptions that do not specify a traffic control device (e.g., Fail to Obey Traffic Control Device) **Avoiding a red light signal for convenience (e.g., driving through a commercial property to avoid a red light)
Image: Approximately 1 in 5 traffic control device violations resulted in a motor vehicle crash
Approximately 1 in 5 traffic control device violations resulted in a motor vehicle crash

TREND in Focus: References

  1. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (2022). Red Light Running.
    Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/red-light-running#overview
  2. National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR). (2021). Red-Light Running Fatality Map.
    Retrieved from https://ncsrsafety.org/stop-on-red/red-light-running-fatality-map-2019/#
  3. Zero Fatalities. (2019). Intersections.
    Retrieved from https://zerofatalitiesnv.com/safer-roads/intersections/
  4. Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). (2021). Speed and Red Light Cameras.
    Retrieved from https://www.ghsa.org/issues/speed-and-red-light-cameras
  5. U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). (n.d.). Red Light Cameras.
    Retrieved from https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/safety/saf_4RLC.pdf

Spotlight

Fellow Findings: Dr. Jeremy Anderson’s Analysis of Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Crashes in Nevada

By Emily Strickler

Traffic Safety Research with Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine Fellows

Image: Dr. Jeremy Anderson, DO

Dr. Jeremy Anderson, DO, is currently an Acute Care Surgery Fellow at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine (KSOM) at UNLV. Dr. Anderson completed his residency at the Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine/Jefferson Health New Jersey and earned his medical degree from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Midwestern University.

His research entitled, “Injury burden of on vs. off road vehicular crashes in Nevada: a comparative analysis” was a hospital admission database project analyzing the burden of injuries sustained in off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from Jan 2017 through December 2019. The study was very helpful in identifying several aspects of OHV use that impact injury patterns within Nevada. The study found that children and young adults are often injured while driving these vehicles as opposed to being a passenger only. This indicates the need for safety training outreach for both adults and younger populations that drive or ride OHVs. When compared to on-highway vehicle injuries, the study also identified a seasonal pattern of injuries with higher incidence occurring during the spring and fall seasons.

Logos for Clark County Medical Society and Southwestern Surgical Congress

This study was presented at the Clark County Medical Society Research Symposium and received the third-place award for best research performed by a resident or fellow. The Clark County Medical Society (CCMS) was established in 1955 as a professional organization of nearly 2,000 doctors, medical residents, physician’s assistants and medical students. The organization advocates for physicians and their patients in Southern Nevada, encouraging the delivery of quality health care within the community. Additionally, the project was selected as a podium presentation at the Southwestern Surgical Congress, a national conference for the discipline of surgery which was held in April 2022. Congratulations, Dr. Anderson!


Community Outreach

By Merika Charupoom and Emily Carter

100 Deadliest Days of Summer

June marks the beginning of “the 100 deadliest days of summer.” It is a time when traffic-related crashes and deaths typically increase. More than 30% of deaths involving teen drivers occur every summer nationwide.[1] With school out of session, many of these young drivers are spending more time on the road. In the United States, teenagers are reported to drive less than other age groups, but the number of crashes and deaths attributed to young drivers are disproportionately high.[2] In 2020, teenage crash deaths occurred most often in summer months (June, July, and August). The holiday that typically causes the most traffic-related fatalities is Independence Day. [3] Other factors that contribute to increased fatalities include failure to use seat belts, alcohol involvement, distracted driving, and speeding. Among fatally injured 16-19 year-old occupants, seat belt use among passengers was only 30% which was considerably lower than among drivers (44%).[2]

In an effort to inform Nevadans to be aware of the “100 deadliest days of summer,” our research team created informational resources that are shared on our various social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We not only create infographics for resources related to traffic related crashes, but also share tips on how to drive safely during the summer. For many, summertime usually means road trips and vacations. With temperatures rising, it is important be aware of changes the temperature has on your vehicle and health. As we transition through the summer, road users should practice safe behaviors such as driving the speed limit, driving sober, avoiding distractions while driving, using proper safety restraint for all occupants, and planning ahead prior to a trip by inspecting their vehicles to help end traffic-related crashes in Nevada.

References

  1. American Automobile Association (AAA). (2022). The 100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers Have Begun.
    Retrieved from https://media.acg.aaa.com/aaa-100-deadliest-days-for-teen-drivers-have-begun-1-2-3.htm
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (2022). Fatality Facts 2020: Teenagers.
    Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/teenagers#trends
  3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (2017). Summer Road Trips Mean More Traffic Deaths.
    Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/summer-road-trips-mean-more-traffic-deaths

Rising KSOM-UNLV Medical Student I
Emily Carter, BS

Photo of medical student, Emily Carter, BS.

Emily Carter has been a member of our Traffic Safety Research team for three years. Her interest in public health and injury prevention research with a desire to positively impact her community led her to KSOM-UNLV’s Traffic Safety Research team. An aspiring physician, Emily found support from Dr. Deborah Kuhls, Principal Investigator, and Laura Gryder, Project Director, where she became increasingly interested in traffic-related injuries and traffic policy. Emily proudly shares her experience creating legislative fact sheets during the recent 81st Nevada Legislative Session. One legislative fact sheet in particular focused on a bill proposing to revise the child passenger safety law. The fact sheet provided Nevada trauma data analyses on appropriately restrained by age versus inappropriately restrained by age children who were injured in car crashes. During the session, legislators showed their appreciation for the fact sheets. This bill passed, and now Nevada law for children transported in motor vehicles more closely aligns with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Emily also manages our team’s social media platforms where she shares educational materials and series on different traffic safety topics (e.g., pedestrian safety, motorcycle safety, and information on the dangers of speeding and driving under the influence). Beyond social media, Emily contributed to the local Las Vegas community in many outreach events by sharing various traffic safety educational materials for both adults and children. At a few events, she fitted helmets for children to use while riding bicycles and other similar modes of transportation. Furthermore, Emily’s interest in medicine led her to become involved in analyses of Nevada hospital discharge data for those injured on Nevada’s roadways. Upon cleaning and coding data, she collaborated with another undergraduate researcher in our office to develop an interactive data dashboard which will be available to the public in the near future.

The skills Emily has gained working with the Traffic Safety Research team combined with her interests and desire to impact her community has led to her decision to pursue a combined Medical Doctor and Masters of Public Health degree. Emily graduated this May 2022 Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Public Health. She was recognized for her community service and research and academic achievements as a UNLV Outstanding Graduate during commencement. This July, Emily begins medical school at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV. Her academic achievements and commitment to serving her community are profoundly impressive. We congratulate Emily on her medical school acceptance and appreciate all of her work and dedication to making Nevada’s roads safer for all road-user types.

Infographics

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