Quick question, how many times in the past month have you seen someone either run a red light or blow right through a stop sign on a Sioux Falls street?

Hopefully, you weren't the person guilty of the traffic violation?

Failing to stop at stop signs and running red lights is quickly becoming a problem here in Sioux Falls. Just in the past three days, I've personally witnessed two different chuckleheads run red lights. Fortunately, on both occasions, their failure to obey traffic laws didn't result in an accident.

Wednesday's little red light runner that collided with the drunk driver at the intersection of Cliff Avenue and Benson Road in Sioux Falls was a different story.

Talk about a double whammy! The accident occurred around 5:00 AM on Wednesday (July 26), when a 2001 Buick that was traveling east ran through a flashing red light. The vehicle collided with a 2002 Honda going north on Cliff. The Buick was then knocked into another car going west on Benson Road.

The driver of the Buick was ticketed for running a red light, the driver of the Accord, 35-year old Carlos Omarleon Lopez of Sioux Falls, actually ended up fleeing the scene of the accident. Officers caught up with him a short time later and charged Lopez with a multitude of offenses including; DUI, no insurance, hit and run and driving with a suspended license.

As the population of Sioux Falls rapidly approaches 180,000, the risk of these types of accidents grows as well. At last check, there is roughly 800 miles of road within the Sioux Falls city limits. That adds up to a lot of stop signs and red lights, and the potential for a lot of drivers who could fail to obey them.

Officer Greg Slaven with the Sioux Falls Police Department, told KSFY TV, "A lot of people think 'STOP' means a slight tap on the break pedal. They slow down, they roll through it. They roll through it without even stopping."

Most failing to stop violations are brought on by drivers who are simply not paying attention, or people feeling they don't need to stop or that nobody is watching.

When it comes to traffic laws and the rules of the road for both motor vehicles and bicyclists in South Dakota, stop means stop!

Drivers and bicyclists are required to stop at EVERY stop sign and red light. When turning right, look right before proceeding. Always check the sidewalks as well as the traffic lanes when merging or turning. And remember to slow down, and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists when behind the wheel of a car.

If you get caught running a red light or a stop sign in Sioux Falls, KSFY TV is reporting the ticket will run you $120. That's a 'best case' scenario, just ask Carlos Omarleon Lopez. His ticket was a whole lot more!

Source: KSFY TV

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