The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

August 2, 2013

Stop!

As we are less than a week away from the first day of school for some of our region, it is especially prudent to be more cautious on the highways.

There will be thousands of boys and girls walking or standing close to roadways while waiting to catch school buses.

There will be an increase in traffic with parents dropping their children off at school.

So there may be no better timing than today to kick off the Target Red campaign.

Police departments around West Virginia will start the annual traffic safety campaign by increasing patrols to enforce red light safety.

With its origin with the Beckley Police Department in 2008 following a serious crash caused by a motorist who ran a red light, Target Red was so successful locally that the Governor’s Highway Safety Program took notice and began funding Target Red operations throughout the state in 2009.

It has been viewed as a widely successful effort, with the community and law enforcement combining to remind drivers of the very simple plea to “Stop on red.”

Yet it is sometimes overlooked or ignored, either by careless drivers or by those in too much of a hurry.

Officers will reportedly be targeting intersections.

Though they will be looking specifically for stop sign violators, this year marks the first time that using a mobile device or cell phone while driving is a primary offense.

Not using a seatbelt also became a primary offense this summer.

A quick look around tells us that many folks still aren’t obeying these laws either.

Our hope is that through this awareness campaign, many more will be cognizant of stop signs and stop lights.

And perhaps even buckle up and hang up their phones while driving.

That would make for a much safer commute through our communities.

The Target Red campaign will run today through Aug. 17.

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