Christian Kegg: Red means stop and green means go

Published: Monday, November 19, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:12 p.m.

As I sit at the stoplight at 34th and Archer and watch not one or two, but five cars run a red light, I wonder what is so important that people in Gainesville feel that they need to risk their lives, other drivers' lives and the lives of their children by running a red light.

I know stopping at a red light can be annoying. Sometimes it feels that when you are running late, you catch every single red light.

But most traffic lights cycle every two-three minutes and are designed to maximize the flow of traffic. So is the two to three minutes you save really worth risking your lives?

In my 10 years as a firefighter and a paramedic, I saw many terrible accidents that were a direct result of failure to stop at a red light. All of those injured thought they were saving some time, but all of them ended up arriving at their destination late, and some never made it. Not to mention the hundreds of other drivers who will now definitely be late because of the accident.

Now, as a physician, I have witnessed families torn apart and individuals' lives devastated just to try and save a couple of minutes.

When I was first learning to drive, my father constantly reminded me that a vehicle is not a time machine. Using it as one will always result in devastating consequences.

Rather than rushing to get somewhere, leave a little early and think about the other drivers on the road trying to get somewhere.

Remember, the laws of the road, no matter how annoying they may be, are there for your protection and the protection of others.

Christian Kegg is a pediatric resident at the University of Florida.

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