Verify: West Little Rock red light ramifications

Verify: red lights

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Verify is a completely new, unique idea. THV11 wants to show transparency in how and what we report and we want you involved. This effort does just that.

In this specific case, a Little Rock woman asks a questions and gets answers. It’s no secret that rush hour in West Little Rock is a traffic nightmare. But at the intersection of Chenal and Autumn Karen Gray has a much more perilous worry when the light here turns red.

"Somebody is going to get killed if something isn't done," said Gray. "Because there's so much traffic, yes."

Gray and THV11’s Dawn Scott watched again and again as our cameras caught multiple cars continuing on, after the stop light turned red.

"The cross lane turns green and they continue to run the red lights," she said. "They don't stop they don't slow down, nothing, and it's multiples and it's every time the light turns."

What Gray wants verified is if police are trying to do anything about this.  So we asked Little Rock Police Lieutenant Steve McClanahan to answer Karen Gray's questions.

Gray showed Lt. McClanahan exactly what she sees every day when she leaves her neighborhood the light turns red, yet cars don't stop.

"Nothing seems to be getting done," she said. "Always there are at least two three, sometimes more, cars that go through the red lights, they don't even slow down. They think nothing about it and it's dangerous."

Lt. McClanahan agrees, it is a danger, but also explains that it is a low priority.

"If I'm on my way to a call and it's a high priority call like shots fired or a disturbance we're going to keep going to that," said Lt. McClanahan.

Lt. McClanahan also shared with Gray that there’s another pressure for police.

"We are down 57 vacancies and that includes 18 recruits that are in academy so they're not useful at this point. They have a 24 week process they have to complete," he said. "We understand the importance of traffic enforcement but the sheer reality of it is there are certain calls, your thefts, your robberies, burglaries that are just going to take precedence. It’s that way in any city.”

After their conversation ends Gray shares that her concerns were understood.  And she understands too.

"And I feel like after talking to him, maybe they are, maybe they're making the best effort they can with the shortage of manpower," she said.

Still, the lights continue to change and cars and trucks continue to fly through.  She wishes drivers would just stop. 

"Someone is going to get killed," she said. "Please be cautious, I don't want anybody to get killed."

While Karen did get answers they may not have been the ones she wanted.

You can ask us to help you verify anything.  It doesn't necessarily have to be a worry. You can ask us to help you get answers to anything: Should my 10-year-old play tackle football? Does the death penalty deter crime? Does yoga really lower blood pressure?  Anything. You ask, we work to help you verify.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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