JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - There are 85 stoplights in the city of Jonesboro. Each one of them designed to make you slow down and eventually stop. Some drivers only consider those stoplights a suggestion.
Looking back at records from the Jonesboro Police Department for 2016, officers ticketed 255 drivers for running a red light. It could have been much more.
Sgt. George Martin with JPD says it's not always easy to pull over a driver who has run a red light, even if it happens right in front of an officer.
"Sometimes you can't get to that person," Martin said, "I could put a citizen in danger trying to get to them."
The fine for running a red light is $120. The consequences can be much worse.
On Nov. 18 of last year, 69-year-old Geraldine Anderson was killed at the intersection of Main and Johnson. The driver of the car that hit her was 31-year-old Robert Callahan. Court documents say he was drunk when he ran a red light.
He is charged with negligent homicide in Anderson's death.
We took our cameras out to some of Jonesboro's busiest intersections to look for drivers who weren't afraid to run the red lights. We found plenty, including a school bus that ran a red light. It happened at 3:30 in the afternoon. Right after school.
People make all sorts of excuses when they get caught. Sgt. Martin says he has heard some good ones.
"I'm sick. I gotta go to the bathroom. I'm late for work. I'm late for ball practice. I'm late for getting my kid to or from ball practice," he quoted. "But, 'I'm late for work' and 'I have to go to the bathroom' are probably the most common ones."
Sgt. Martin added that he believes cell phone use adds to the problem. People get distracted at a stoplight and fall behind the pack, so they hit the gas to make it through the light.
The most common places Jonesboro officers write tickets for running red lights occur at some of Jonesboro's busiest intersections. Of the 255 tickets written for red light running, 64 of them happened at Red Wolf and Nettleton, Red Wolf and Highland, Nettleton and Caraway, and Caraway and Highland.
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