Oklahoma Co. Sheriff's Office Cracks Down On Red Light Runners
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on red light and stop sign runners.
The program started eight years ago after 17-year-old Aaron Zentz was hit by a driver who ran a red-light, killing him on impact.
“Aaron could have been anything that he wanted to be, but that all ended one day in a blink of an eye,” said Tracy Zentz in December 2011.
A traffic light was ignored and Aaron’s life was cut short. He was on his way home in May 2009.
Police say the driver ran the light at a high rate of speed more than three seconds after it turned red.
“It was devastation that cannot be described in words,” said Zentz.
Since her son's death, Tracy Zentz has committed to partnering with law enforcement agencies across the state in an effort to aggressively crack down on red light and stop sign runners.
“It’s really not anything more than what we’re already doing,” said Sgt. Heath Richardson, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office. “But we’re just making more of an emphasis.”
Sgt. Richardson said it's one of the most common citations given. Thousands of accidents happen in Oklahoma every year because of red light runners.
“I think they get in too much of a hurry to even consider the consequences,” said Richardson.
So, sheriff’s deputies are sitting closer to traffic lights and stop signs monitoring drivers especially at busier intersections, ready to catch a violator.
“The events leading up to Aaron’s death seem like yesterday,” said Zentz.
So deadly accidents caused by a red light runner can be prevented.
“Better to pay a traffic citation than to have to live with the fact that you’ve killed somebody for the rest of your life,” said Richardson.
Sgt. Richardson said just last year, at least four people lost their lives because of red light runners.