LPD to kick off stop light campaign

Published 7:00 pm Friday, September 20, 2019

The LaGrange Police Department has seen a rise in crashes due to motorists not stopping at stop signs and has created a campaign to prevent these types of wrecks.

The campaign will start in October will be focused on stopping motorists who run red lights and stop signs. In 2019, LPD officers have investigated 982 collisions on city streets and thoroughfares, according to LPD Lt. Mark Kostial,

“When these collisions occurred, the primary contributing factor listed in 276 of these wreck reports was the offense of failure to yield.,” Kostial said. “This means that drivers running stop signs and red lights have caused 28 percent of our roadway wrecks thus far this year.” 

Kostial said that if traffic signals are yellow, drivers need slow down and stop for the pending red light. Doing so means that the driver will not have to stop abruptly and possibly cause a wreck. 

“Unfortunately, the driving public does not clearly understand the entire Georgia red light and stop sign statutes,” Kostial said. “What we are seeing is that a significant number of motorists merrily travel through the yellow light, which more than likely turns red when they are actually in the intersection. This results in crashes.” 

Kostial said the offense of failure to yield was listed as the primary contributing factor in 406 wrecks on city streets and thoroughfares in 2018. That number equated to 26 percent of all roadway wrecks, according to Kostial. 

The LPD is also seeing a rise in stop sign infractions. 

“A lot of time folks will stop and there’s no disputing that they stopped, but a component of stopping at a stop sign is also remaining stopped until it is safe for a motorist to proceed,” Kostial said. “What we are finding is folks will acknowledge the stop sign and bring their vehicle to a complete stop, but will execute a turn in front of another vehicle. So, they have not met all of the elements in the statute.” 

Kostial said it is unacceptable that a high percentage of wrecks are being caused by such an avoidable occurrence. 

“What we want to do [with this campaign] is reduce that number,” Kostial said. “If we can reduce the wreck number, then it stands to reason than we can reduce the number of individuals being injured in these wrecks.”

With failure to yield wrecks continuing to rise, the LPD decided it was time to start a campaign. 

“Our goal is not to inconvenience people or to go out and write tickets,” Kostial said. “Our goal is to ensure the safe and efficient flow of traffic within our community.”