Exclusive: Red Light Runners

Every month, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office releases a list of the top crash sites in the county.

And every month, the same road makes the list: Hacks Cross Road. One reason for the crashes at that intersection is the high number of "Red Light Runners".

Crumpled metal and shattered lives is the kind of devastation that can result from running a red light.

"If I never have to knock on another door and advise a family that a loved one will never be with them because they tried to save three or four minutes on their travel time then I've done my job," said Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Tim McMackin.

McMackin said he's seen it all, "anywhere from a property damage crash where you tear up your car or somebody else's to a fatal crash."

Some of those crashes happened right along Hacks Cross Road. It's busy thoroughfare that almost always makes the county's monthly list of top crash sites.

The intersection at Hacks Cross and Shelby Drive, in particular, is one of the busiest.

We wanted to see just how careless Mid-South drivers really are. So, Action News 5 reporter Jason Miles staked out the intersection for several hours on two different days, positioning the camera on every possible angle.

He then waited for the lights to turn red. And sure enough, he caught runners. He saw it happen time and time again.

One black pick-up truck entered the intersection when the light was yellow but clearly ran the red.

Minutes later, a dump truck was caught turning right in front of oncoming traffic.

But here's the kicker, a Shelby County Sheriff's cruiser was caught on camera running a red light too.

Drivers who routinely travel this route are not surprised we captured so many red light runners. Some even admit to running red-lights themselves.

McMackin added, "it's human instinct to punch the gas and try and beat the red-light--you know to try and shave a couple of minutes off your travel time--but you have to weigh your options--is it worth your life or somebody else's."

The number of red-light runners along Hacks Cross may only creep higher when the new Southwind High School opens this fall.

The traffic load is expected to grow as will the risk from Red Light Runners.

Red light running is a huge problem in the City of Memphis too.

In fact, according to statistics from the US Department of Transportation, Memphis has the second highest death rate in red-light running crashes among cities with more than 200,000 residents.


to email Jason Miles.