Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Red Means Stop, not Go Faster

A teacher from my son's old high school spent her day standing in front of a local grocery store handing out flyers for the Red Means Stop Coalition. She lost a student to a red light runner. I couldn't imagine losing a child at such a young age, and thought the least I could do is pass along the word about this non-profit organization. Although the readers of my blog probably aren't the ones who need the reminder, it would help to pass along the word to others: Red Means Stop, not Go-Faster-to-beat-the-light.

Here's a bit of the article that I received which ran in The Arizona Republic:

Jennifer Hinds: Young dreams ended by a red-light runner.

After nine years of marriage, Jennifer Lynn was our first child. She was born on a Tuesday morning, June 19, 1979. Blond hair, blue eyes, and a beautiful dimpled smile.

In High School, the DECA club helped her mature, as did her job at the new Arrowhead AMC theater. She was impatient, however, and wanted to get on with her life. New York and the fashion industry were calling to her, although we convinced her that NAU would be a great place to start, and not so far from home.

Unfortunately, Jennifer's plans were not to be.

Six days after Jennifer and her friends were T-boned in the intersection at 59th Avenue and Sweetwater, her life ended.

Thousands of injuries occur every year from red light running, and hundreds of deaths. Jennifer's story is but one. To find out more about the coalition, please visit: http://www.redmeansstop.org/


Nikole Hahn said...

AMEN! I worked at the Motor Vehicle Department for five years. Do you know how many parents taught their children to speed up to beat the yellow light? I failed a child for running a red. When I berated the child, the child looked sheepish. She admitted her mother taught her to do this. In essence, she could not understand why she failed. I very carefully, but pointedly told the parent why her child failed. The parent blushed. I doubt this changed either of their behaviors.

NikoleHahn said...


I linked this blog.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Nikole and thanks for the link. My husband and I argue all the time about what the yellow light means. I don't get anywhere with him. I'm so sorry Kathryne for your friend's loss. I can't imagine a great pain.

Tina LaVon said...

Thank you for this post, Kathryne. I had heard the joke that in AZ red meant stop and yellow meant go like a bat out of a hell. It obviously isn't a joke. We all need to be more cautious.

May we all have a safe new year!

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Good for you, Nikole. We all want our children to be safe, so I can only assume the mother just didn't know any better, and now they both do. I think it helps to start with kids, who don't have bad driving habits already ingrained in them. Thank you for your work in keeping our roads safe!

Oh, and thanks for the link to spread the word!

Hi Kim. I truly feel for that family...

Hi Tina. Spreading the word might make it a bit safer.

Happy New Year to all!