Mesa police reminding public of the danger of red-light runners

Posted at 6:37 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 11:07:09-04

Mesa police are posting shocking videos captured on the city's 24 red light cameras on their social media pages, hoping it will serve as a wake-up call to drivers. 

The videos show drivers running red lights and crashing into other cars. Police say officers are writing, on average, 100 citations and warnings to red light runners in Mesa every month. Detective Steve Berry, a spokesman for Mesa police, says he worries those were just the ones who were getting caught.

Police want to remind you that running a red light can be devastating. It can not only destroy your personal property, your prized car, but it can also destroy lives and shatter families.

Chandler mom Pamela Hesselbacher was just heading home from the park with her children when a man allegedly ran a red light and struck the family. The impact of the crash killed Hesselbacher and critically injured her two children.

Her family is still fighting for justice in the case. Hesselbacher's mother Jody Kieran says it has left them devastated.

"He said he didn't know the light was red, he didn't see it. He took everything from us. Every day this impacts your life. The hopes, the dreams, the aspirations you had for your child. You wake up every single day and think it's not real, but then as the day goes on, it is real," said Kieran.

She warned drivers that just a few seconds was all it took to destroy someone's life forever.  

Another Valley woman, Cheryl Klein said a red light runner left her a partial paraplegic, bound to her wheelchair for life.

Klein won a bronze medal in the Kung Fu World Championship. The best of the best in the martial arts world, she could now only think back to the life she once had.

"That is something I can never get back. It actually makes me really angry. Wake up. Pay attention to where you're going. Your vehicle is not just something to get you to and from your destination. It is a 3000-4000 pound weapon that can destroy a life," said Klein.

Mesa police said they hoped to continue posting videos of red light runners caught on the city's red-light cameras on their social media pages every month.

Detective Steve Berry sent ABC15 the following statement:

"We have about 24 camera locations in the city, six of those are in school zones. Some have one camera. Some, such as school zones usually have one facing in each direction. Some cover intersections for red light violations. Some cover red lights and speed. As you might be noticing, there is more to the program than just sticking up a camera. Sometimes a camera is put at a location because of a high number of accidents. Using the information from the camera, the intersection might be re-engineered to improve traffic flow. If the desired effect is achieved and the number of accidents and violations go down, the camera is often taken down."