More than 6450 people get killed and more than 36400 get injured due to traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia annually. Many of these are the victims of reckless driving behaviour. Although red-light crossing causes more than 5% of traffic accidents, no comprehensive study has ever assessed this problem in Saudi Arabia. This study aims at assessing this problem by estimating the rate of drivers crossing red lights. It also aims to checking if there are differences between the three regions of Saudi Arabia in terms of red-light crossing rate and to see if there are differences between peak and off-peak times and due to different light cycle rates. Eighteen lighted intersections in six different cities and towns were observed for one hour during peak times and another hour during off-peak times in one direction. Cycle times, total number of cars passing and number of cars crossing red lights were recorded. Results showed that an astonishing 5.9% of drivers cross intersections on red. Results also showed that there were significant differences in red-light crossing rate between the three regions and that more drivers tend to cross red lights during peak than during off-peak times. Practical suggestions are given at the end as to combat this problem.
Keywords: traffic safety; drivers’ behaviour; red lights; lighted intersections