Readers are responding in strong language to our plea to city hall for an all-out police crackdown on a frightening new threat: the Red Light Runner. Clearly people aren't talking about some occasional occurrence here and there; the deadly nonstoppers are everywhere, threatening pedestrians as well as motorists. Why it's practiced is anybody's guess, but until police make a loud and clear statement with their sirens and ticket books, it's not likely to disappear.
We need only look out our window to see the red-runners -- often two at a time, either side by side or one after the other -- whizzing through and barely missing men, women and children. Granted, the police can't be everywhere, and they can't write tickets for incidents they don't see. But if the top brass puts them on the corners and lets them hang around for awhile, they can find enough examples to ticket as warnings to others.
We asked Officer Fred Thompson of the Metropolitan Police Department's Traffic Analysis Department what else could be done. He suggests a strong "educational" campaign to make drivers aware that running red lights is no game. For the record, he notes that, although most motorists do not realize it, the crosswalk is a part of the intersection, and if you drive into it on red, you have run the light and are subject to a $75 fine and two points on your driver's license.
If word needs spreading, why not start with posters and bumper stickers warning anybody and everybody that "When You See Red -- Stop!" But all the posters, stickers, letters and phone calls won't do unless and until the city gets out there and takes action against the growing number of violators.