LAST SATURDAY we were wondering -- an obvious concern -- when the increase in red-light running around town would lead to a fatality. That question has now been answered in the worst way.

Item, from Thursday's Post:

"A 58-year-old Petworth man was killed early yesterday when the car he was driving was struck broadside by a car that ran a red light on 14th Street NW at Rhode Island Avenue, D.C. police reported." The driver was charged with unreasonable speed and passing a red light, according to police.

Hours after reading this report, we watched as a car breezing along K Street NW blew through a most definitely red light, nearly clobbered the back end of a car that was in the intersection completing a left turn onto 15th Street, swerved and barely missed a man who had taken two legal steps into the K Street crosswalk -- and then let out a long, rude blast on the horn! Nobody dead this time, but two terrifying close calls.

The only way these incidents seem to be contained is through public attention -- enough to generate arrests, and fear of arrests. In the meantime, drivers and pedestrians alike had best interpret green lights and "Walk" signs as cues not to proceed -- but look every-which-way before easing into forward motion. It may cost a few seconds -- instead of a life.