Sunday, July 24, 2016

Red Means Stop

Note: I begin this Sunday discussing some of the workshops in depth that I attended and/or the people I interviewed attending the conference that belong to a special interest group.

Red Means Stop is an Arizona organization of victims and safety advocates comprised of mothers, fathers and children whose goal is to save lives and prevent crashes that injure and kill drivers, passengers and pedestrians and to honor victims and their families. The group meets once a month in Scottsdale at Driving MBA. The executive director, Barbara Hoffman sat next to me in the bookstore and told me all about this organization. 

In January 1999, three families whose children died from red light runners founded The Red Means Stop Coalition. Barbara's son Michael Allanson,14,  was hit by an 82-year-old red light runner in August of 2004, while crossing the street in a crosswalk.

When formed, the Red Means Stop Coalition was the only known grassroots organization of its kind in the United States. There are many traffic advocates around the country who have similar programs now. Their long-term goal is to have the message about the dangers and consequences of red light running spread throughout the country until red light running is significantly reduced everywhere.

In Arizona, car crashes are the number one killer of teens and young adults age 15-24. An average of four people are killed in Arizona every month due to red light/stop sign running crashes.

The following are the areas the group is involved in.

Driver’s Education:

The group actively participates and plans events to educate drivers. Their education programming includes:
·         Speaking about the dangers and consequences of red light running at Traffic Safety Survival and Defensive Driving School classes
·         Speaking to students at high schools, about the consequences of red light running and making poor decisions on the road
·         Speaking to middle school and elementary school students about traffic safety
·         Speaking at fairs, conferences, and other events to raise awareness about red light running, distracted driving, and the importance of drivers education.
·         Speaking to parent groups about preparing their children to become safe and responsible young drivers
They also educates drivers by providing driver training awards to underprivileged teens in Arizona. Red Means Stop has partnered with DrivingMBA, a driving school in Arizona offering high level simulation training labs that are completely integrated with classroom and on-road instruction. These driver training programs teach a better understanding of the mental skills required to be safe, responsible drivers
In Arizona, over 200 car crashes a year are the number one killer of teens and young adults age 15-24. It is estimated that four people are killed in Arizona every month just from red light/stop sign running crashes.

Victim Outreach

If you, a family member or friend has been the victim of a red light running crash and would like to talk to other victims or need information about red light running laws in Arizona, use the contact information below. They are happy to talk, console and/or advise you.

If a recent victim and your case is still in the investigation stage or is working its way through the courts, confirm with the investigating officer or the prosecutor that the defendant is at the very least charged under Arizona Revised Statutes 28-672.  There may be other charges if drugs, alcohol or speed was involved. If an advocate is needed to write a letter to the judge or to appear in court with you,

This group can help. Email them at or call their office at 480-305-7900 and leave a message.

Community Outreach
Outreach and education is a key component of Red Means Stop’s programming. The board members and volunteers outreach to the community by holding events, public and private and in schools.
The board collaborated with victims of red light running and their families to compile their impactful stories into an educational book, Carelessness Is No Accident. Their goal is to get these books into the hands of teens and adults to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of red light running.
Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are needed for Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance. To volunteer email:

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